Since his appearance as the only Mexican chef presenter on the roster at the 2008 StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress, Enrique Olvera hasn’t skipped a beat. He has been named one of the ten most promising chefs by Food and Wine magazine, and last year he was a featured speaker at the international gastronomic summit Madrid Fusion. This summer he’s published a book, UNO, which reflects upon modern gastronomy in Mexico and features 100 recipes from his restaurant Pujol. The restaurant, incidentally, was one of two restaurants in Mexico to be voted among the top 100 restaurants in the world by the Sydney Morning Herald this year.
Olvera is widely lauded at home for harnessing the avant-garde techniques of abroad, and with a flourish, unveiling home-style Mexican cooking and straight-shooting street food, rethought.
Born in Mexico, Olvera enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York in 1996. During his studies, he earned various awards, including the gold medal from the New York Société Culinaire Philanthropique, and the Jacob Rosenthal Leadership Award. Olvera’s first job post-graduation in 1999 was at the Everest Room, one of Chicago’s top restaurants.
The following year, with fine dining and classical training under his belt, Olvera returned to Mexico City to open Pujol. His goal: to re-imagine traditional, regional Mexican food, and present its styles, flavors, and techniques in a modern fine-dining setting. As he said, in an interview with Food and Wine, "Why would you make a foie gras dish with apples when you can make it with black sapote?" Since the opening of Pujol, he’s won numerous other awards, most recently GQ Mexico’s Chef of the Year.
Olvera's current projects include the Grupo Enrique Olvera, with his second restaurant La Purificadora, opened in Puebla in 2008, the gastro-deli Eno, and Teo, a workshop dedicated to research and education. Additionally, Olvera heads up food design for Mexicana de Aviación, Mexico’s largest commercial airline.