Maricel Presilla is a Cuban-American chef, culinary historian and author whose area of interest and expertise is the rich food culture of Latin America. She has carried out considerable research in the field of Latin American agriculture, concentrating on the study of tropical crops, cacao and vanilla agriculture, and chocolate production.
She is the author of an impressive selection of books, including The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Chocolate with Recipes and Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America. The latter culinary tome, which is 912 pages in length and contains over 500 recipes, was named 2013 Cookbook of the Year by the James Beard Foundation.
Maricel is also a restaurateur and is the chef and co-owner of two pan-Latin restaurants in Hoboken, New Jersey: Zafra and Cucharamama. She also runs Ultramarinos, a Latin American store and cooking atelier, where she sells Latin ingredients, prepared foods, and premium chocolates.
During Chocolate Week, I spoke to Maricel about the exciting world of fine quality cacao and chocolate making, as well as about some of the interesting projects that she is working on. You can hear the interview by clicking on the play button below.