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ENRIQUE OLVERA FIGUERAS b. Mexico City, 1976 After finishing his professional studies at New York’s Culinary Institute of America, Enrique Olvera returned to Mexico to open Pujol, now considered one of Mexico City’s most essential haute-cuisine destinations. Following a period of review, analysis and reinterpretation, Olvera’s culinary proposal focuses on a more personal approach. It explores and creates based on Mexico’s extraordinary ingredients—always maintaining its signature Mexican identity—yet never ceasing its experiments in contemporary as well as millennia- old culinary technique, always liberally seasoned with imagination, humor and attention to detail. Recognitions for Olvera’s work are practically innumerable. In 2004, at 27, Olvera received Catadores magazine’s “Chef of the Year” award. In 2005—and again in 2007—he received the “Young Restaurateur’s” award from Mexico’s National Chamber for the Restaurant and Prepared Foods Industry (CANIRAC). He has been named “Chilango (Mexico City Resident) of the Year” by Chilango magazine on numerous occasions and the same magazine also named him “Chef of the Decade.” Expansión—Mexico’s most important business publication—placed him on its list of the “Thirty Most Talented Mexicans” in 2009 and GQ México named him as one of 2009’s “15 Men of the Year.” Food & Wine, one of the world’s most recognized gastronomy publications, chose Olvera as one of its “10 Most Promising Figures in World Cuisine.” In 2010, Pujol celebrated its tenth year. As part of the festivities, Olvera has published his first book, UNO (ONE), which in addition to expressing the history and philosophy behind his work, recounts ten years of Mexican haute cuisine, the current trends, and where things are heading in the future. 2010 also saw the UK’s prestigious culinary journal Restaurant publish its San Pellegrino list of the “World’s 100 Best Restaurants,” with Pujol coming in at number 72. In September, Starchefs.com published its “Top-Ten International Figures in World Gastronomy” and included Olvera. Quién magazine called him one of the “Fifty People Who Move Mexico” in October. 2011 witnessed Olvera’s inclusion in the book Uno + Uno—as one of “32 Leaders Who Make Mexico What It Is”—as well as recognition in the March issue of Chilango magazine for Pujol as “Mexico City’s Best Restaurant.” And then there’s the year’s greatest recognition, to date: Pujol has moved up to the San Pellegrino fifty best worldwide restaurants list, snagging 49th place in 2011, an historical first for a Mexican restaurant with a Mexican chef. Olvera’s work continues unabated as he creates a space for Mexican cooking on the world gastronomic scene.
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