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Mexican Cuisine with Pati Jinich

Plants are intimately linked to our cultural identities and food traditions. Plants tell us where we are, and who we are in how we use them to feed ourselves. When we migrate, we carry our culture and cuisine with us. In this virtual series, renowned chefs, culinary historians, and authors from cultures around the world discuss how plants shaped their foodways.

In ancient Mexico, the Indigenous people were hunter-gatherers. Their diets consisted mostly of corn, beans, chili peppers, squash, tomatoes, and some game. Spanish conquerors and colonizers incorporated Spanish vegetables, spices, and herbs into Indigenous cuisine. Today, at the heart of many Mexican dishes you still find corn, beans, and chili peppers. But Mexican cuisine is as varied as it’s 31 states. Join Chef Pati Jinich as she talks about Mexican food plants and spices both Indigenous and non-Indigenous and the important role both play in Mexico’s rich culture.

Participants are invited to join the Conservatory’s watch party from 6-8pm at no additional cost. Please select this option when registering. There will be a social hour as well as light refreshments and a cash bar.

This class is part of a virtual series titled “Plants, Cuisine and Culture” created in partnership with Chicago Botanic Garden, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden.

Pati Jinich Pati Jinich is the Emmy-nominated Mexican host and executive producer of both La Frontera, her PBS Primetime docuseries that reveals untold stories from the US-Mexico border and just aired its second season, and Pati’s Mexican Table, which has brought Mexican flavors into American homes for more than 10 years. A James Beard award-winning chef and former political analyst, Pati has made it her life’s work to build greater understanding between her two home countries: Mexico where she was born and the United States where she currently resides and is raising her family. In addition to her television work, she is a New York Times bestselling author with 3 cookbooks, including her most recent Treasures of the Mexican Table: Classic Recipes, Local Secrets, and has contributed to publications including The New York Times.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can register for these classes?

Organized by Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Chicago Botanic Garden, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, registration for these classes is open to anyone.

Do I need to register for all of the classes in the series?

No. While this is a connected series, registration is separate for each individual class. You can register for one class, all classes in the series, or any number in between. Each individual class is $12, $10 for members

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Are these classes virtual?

These are lecture-style classes that registrants will join virtually; however, the Conservatory will host a free watch party for each class for anyone who selects the option during registration. The watch party will include a social hour, light refreshments, and a cash bar. 

Please indicate if you’d like to attend the watch party when registering. Participants are still welcome to enjoy the series from their homes if they prefer.