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  • Writer's pictureFelipe Garcia

Pati Jinich - Chef, Author, Food Whisperer

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

Connecting people, food, and places.

This is our first post of this new blog page (started 2 days ago). Please follow us on Instagram or Facebook where we will share our stories of the people we have met, the places we have visited, and the food that makes our world so unique.

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How is it possible for a policy analyst to become a chef, cookbook author, and TV host? Well, you just have to know Pati Jinich. Born in Mexico City, Pati came to the U.S. and found her mission in life, to tell the stories of people and food in Mexico, through her TV show.

Watching her James beard Award-winning and Emmy nominated public television series "Patis Mexican Table" I knew there was something different about her, but could not found out. But one day it hit me. There was some resemblance between the approach of the late Anthony Bourdain and Pati. Let me explain. When you see Pati's TV show, hear a podcast with her, or sit down and have a conversation with her, you will notice that she has an amazing gift to connect people and food. Not only her TV personality is truthful and honest. If you have the opportunity to sit down with her and have a conversation about life, food, raising kids, etc., the TV personality is exactly the same as the off-camera individual. There is no expectations from her to be treated like a celebrity. It is just her, Pati Jinich.

I remember one day she was filming in Tucson for her eight TV season (see links below to check them out) and we were walking and having a conversation. All of a sudden I noticed Dan (producer of the show) talking to his crew and they had the cameras looking at us. My thought was of course that they were getting ready to film, and all of a sudden Dan says "this is great information, it will be really good for the program". My thought of course was, OK, "mike me up" and let's do this now with a "for TV conversation" and Pati said, well, it has already recorded, we don't need to do anything else (see the picture below).

I also can’t live without the chef and television host Pati Jinich’s cookbook “Pati's Mexican Tale: The Secrets of Real Mexican Cooking"
Jennifer Steinhauer-The New York Times

Television Series

Many of us have known Pati through her 8 seasons (9th airing this fall 2020). I have to highlight of course the last episode of Season 8: How Do you Say Tucson? Be ready and hungry to discover the #SonoranHotDog and the amazing Banana and Habanero Salsa from Chef Maria Mazon. And by the way, wait until the end, where you can see a cameo by yours truly.

Season 9 Coming this Fall

Soon after finalizing her eighth season, Pati called me with a new idea, and of course her usual excitement. She wanted to have her next season be about the State of Sonora, Mexico. She and her assistant went through all their thoughts and ideas about the new season. I let them "vent out" for several minutes before they asked if we were interesting in partnering again with her (my employer Visit Tucson, is a sponsor of her TV Show). We had already talked about this before, and I was already decided to continue our involvement in her TV show, but of course it was more fun letting her go through all her "dreams" about the new season for several minutes. I did this because it is always inspiring to work with Pati, since all her dreams and ideas, become a reality.

Watch this video from Season 9:

The Sonoran Region - The Famous Saguaro

You might have the question of why Tucson, Arizona (that is in the U.S.) has anything to do with the State of Sonora, Mexico. Yes in fact we are in two different countries, but our culture, geography, food and people reside on both sides of the border. The Mexican food you are most likely to taste in Tucson is Sonoran Mexican Food, and for many, Tucson is the gateway into the State of Sonora.

A clear example of the uniqueness of our region is that both our States, even though in two different countries, are part of the Sonoran Desert. Our most emblematic figure is the famous Saguaro. Even though this majestic plant is seen in commercials, billboards, cartoons, etc. all over the world, it ONLY grows in the Sonoran Desert. The Saguaro cactus, which can live as much as 150-200 years and wight up to 4,800 pounds, is also part of our bi-national gastronomy. During the spring, the cactus grows some beautiful white flowers, and later in the summer, it bears a red fruit that is harvested and mainly used to make jam.

Thanks for reading our first blog post. We are new and learning, but eager to share with you our thoughts, ideas and connections with the people, places and food that inspire us. Soon we will share posts about Fabriano, Italy; Chef Maria Mazon from Boca Tacos; and the famous paella from Spain.


Look for Pati at:

Watch Pati's Mexican Table

Learn more about the Sonoran Desert at:

Purchase Saguaro Food Products at:

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