Chef Enrique Olvera of Cosme - Biography

New York, NY

August 2014

Born in Mexico with strong culinary ties to Mexico City and Tobasco, Enrique Olvera studied cooking at the Culinary Institute of America, earning the gold medal from the New York Société Culinaire Philanthropique and the Jacob Rosenthal Leadership Award. Olvera’s first job after graduation brought him to Chicago’s Everest in 1999. 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.

And it’s with Pujol that Olvera’s arguably made the most strides for Mexican gastronomy—ancient and modern. Using avant-garde techniques to update centuries-tested Mexican cuisine, Pujol quickly garnered national and international attention. It’s widely regarded as the best restaurant in Mexico, and ranks 20 on the San Pellegrino “World’s Best Restaurants” list.

Olvera went on to form the Grupo Enrique Olvera and open his second restaurant, La Purificadora, in Puebla in 2008. He also founded the gastro-deli Eno and Teo, a workshop dedicated to research and education. Olvera’s even taken his passion to the skies, heading up food design for Mexicana de Aviación. The forthcoming opening of Cosme in New York’s Flatiron District—supplied by a tortilleria in Brooklyn, with fair trade corn grown in Mexico—will be a return for Olvera, who spent formative years in the city.

Mexico’s sole gastronomic representative at the 2008 StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress, Enrique Olvera hasn’t skipped a beat in cooking for his country. He was named one of the 10 most promising chefs by Food & Wine magazine and was a featured speaker at international gastronomic summit Madrid Fusión. In his cookbook Uno, Olvera reflects upon modern Mexican gastronomy, with 100 recipes from Pujol.