Felipe Ehrenberg: interview about the art of cooking

The neologist, as he defined himself, is a fundamental piece to know the Mexican art of the second half of the 20th century. Photo: INBA.

Note: Felipe Ehrenberg (Mexico City, 1943-Morelos, 2017), was one of our great artists. He was an editor, essayist, teacher and activist Mexican or, to put it in his words: “artivist”. The neologist, as he defined himself, is a fundamental piece to know the Mexican art of the second half of the 20th century. Friend, tutor, teacher of so many, he was, above all, a provocateur. Something that is now missing in an increasingly decaffeinated Mexican art. Go as a very small tribute this interview that he did not long ago, and that he did not have the opportunity to see much light. (ACG)

  1. a) Why do you like or dislike eating with your hands?

Because that’s how I learned it, since I was little. Our Mexican food is nourishing as well as support and tool.

  1. b) To what food or dish do you confer greater destructive power?

To the pig brains: Hmmmm, delicious!

  1. c) What food makes you happier: breakfast, lunch or dinner?

It depends on who is with me, although breaking the fast alone, without rushing, can be the most pleasant thing there is.

  1. d) When was the last time you were rude at a table? What was it that she did she?

I consider that I have never sinned by rudeness. If perhaps gluttony.

  1. e) Underline your choice: sweet or salty? Soft or golden? Raw or Cooked?

Tender and golden.

  1. f) What have you done (or not done) thanks to a few glasses of wine?

That I remember nothing, now that with a few glasses of mezcal it is another song…

  1. g) What would you like to eat right now if you were at the beach?

Two dozen fresh cold oysters and a whole garlic fish.

  1. h)Beef or Chicken? dopork or fish? Pasta? dovegan? doAnother?

Que? Not spikinglish. Vegan lemon NEVER!

  1. i) Does he still play with his food? While eating? By the end? Why?

I never play, I entertain myself: when eating oysters, I always return the empty shell upside down and in a circle.

  1. j) What dish do you think of to remember your childhood?

Dry noodle soup with melted cheese on top…

  1. k) Do you always want to eat outside, be cooked, or cook come rain, shine or shine?

Cook with whoever cooks for me.

  1. l) Choose a food and define it briefly: tofu, honey, marrow, garlic, spinach, milk or octopus.

Honey, which accompanies everything…

  1. m) Complete: “For me, eating without company is something similar to…”

Watch TV?

  1. n) Do you think someone eats naked in bed or is it a Hollywood cliché?

Joligudense cliché, NEVER! How many times have we not done it… Ah!

ñ) Underline your favorite: penne, fettuccine, fusilli, capellini, spaghetti, rigatoni or cannelloni. Other?

Another, without a doubt.

  1. o) What is your favorite stew on the face of the earth?

Right now, it could be one of meatballs. Tomorrow who knows.

  1. p) Complete: “For me, the December menu is truly something that…”

…depends on where I am: December in the Baltic is not the same as December in Salvador Bahía.

  1. q) Complete: “About the appetizers and the main dishes, the desserts really…”

…must harmonize…

  1. r) If it were true that nonsense that the moon is made of cheese. What is it about? (Minus the Gruyere!).

How! Isn’t it Gruyère? Will it be brie?

  1. s) Favorite street food?

In Mexico City, the Barrio de Tepito and the Barrio de Jesús in Coyoacán. In London, fish’n chips.

  1. t) Forced to the hypothetical desert island: what food or dish would you take with you?

Potatoes and tomatoes: I can plant them and ensure replenishment…

  1. u) The fault that you least tolerate in a restaurant?

Pretentious and smarmy waiters.

  1. v) What is for you the clear difference between eating and knowing how to eat?

The pleasure element.

  1. w) A good gourmandborn or made? Both? Any other overlooked possibilities?

I don’t know if the gourmand is born or made… I know good gourmets better; they are born that way.

  1. x) Complete: “For me, eating with family or friends represents, above all…”

…feel at ease; if my companions are not family or friends, I will always eat with caution.

  1. y) What are the spices or condiments that you treasure the most?

All the chiles, the flavor seeds and the epazote.

  1. z) Complete: “When I cannot eat, I feel that…

…I’m running out of inspiration.

Antonio Maria Calera-Grobet

(Mexico, 1973). Writer, editor and cultural promoter. Contributor to various newspapers and magazines with national circulation. Publisher of Mantarraya Editions. author of Gluttony. of brains and tongue (2011). Owner of “Hosteria La Bota”.