While studying to be a painter, I began training as a cook and host after opening a Bed and Breakfast in 2006. I understood that to be a cook one has to be an artist and to be an artist it´s necessary to know something about cooking; they are both artistic occupations that not only complement one another, they can even be indissoluble. A true painter is necessarily an excellent cook. It may not work the other way, but a chef at least needs to be sensitive enough to understand and be moved by art.
When I opened the B&B, I started giving cooking classes about traditional food, which in turn obligated me to increase my files on vernacular Oaxacan gastronomy. My resources were the markets and direct learning from local cooks of different regions who used native ingredients, plus the magic, flavor and colorfulness of their communities.
The experience of learning about the almost endless variety of regional Oaxacan dishes, the personal contact with its creators and the in-depth exploration of products from each locality has allowed me to compile recipes soon to be published and available to all of you. As with everything, I keep learning new recipes to offer a greater range of traditional food to my guests who, with time, have become friends.
It was with these first recipes that I began to organize private dinners for friends and acquaintances, tourists and artists, both Mexican and foreign, who were enchanted with the multiplicity, richness and fascinating aspect of the different regional dishes of Oaxaca. These referential dinners practically forced me to open a public space for tasting these delights. That is how Casa Crespo came into being two years ago.
But Casa Crespo is not just a restaurant; it is a cooking school and chocolate store where one can taste and purchase distinct handmade chocolates made from varying mixtures. I offer a line of endemic gourmet products, and the space includes a well-stocked library on food from all over the world which anyone is welcome to consult. In addition, I regularly offer tastings of mescal from different regions of Oaxaca with experts on the subject.