Hi, allow me to introduce my self.
My name is Manuel Arriaga. I´m a mexican born chef who lives and works abroad my country since 1997 when I moved as an illegal alien to Vancouver B.C, Canada.
After 3 years of apprenticeship in French kitchens, I started the Culinary Arts Program at the Culinary Institute of America in the year 2000 were I met my soon to be wife Ana. Ana is from the Basque country in Spain.
We have lived in Vitoria-Gasteiz, near Bilbao, Pamplona and San Sebastian since 2001.
My experience is mostly based in Michelin-starred restaurants in the Basque Country, as well as some luxury hotels such as Marqués de Riscal, designed by Frank Gehry, where I worked as the Banquet Chef.
We own our own house and don´t have any kids at the moment. We´re 37 years old.
I am without a job since January and currently on welfare. I have decided to try my luck in my own country.
I´m looking for a job as culinary teacher and chef in Merida, or both.
I will be moving to Merida at the end of August. My wife is staying in Spain at the moment.
I write two blogs. People know me mostly in México as Subcomandante Manu.
One blog I write is about a project called LA FONDA DEL GOLFO, which is the restaurant I operate in my own apartment here in the Basque Country. It is a sort of secret restaurant where I cook for no more than 8 people. I cook with integrity and imagination to bring to the table the Mexican flavors of my childhood using local ingredients in the spirit of Slow Food.
The other blog I write is called NUEVA COCINA POPULAR MEXICANA and it´s about the relation between creativity, craftsmanship, social responsability and ecological awareness. The impact of this new way of looking at Mexican cooking touches on important issues such as food rights (sovereignty), cooking from a Mexican identity and developing a fine dining scene that is useful to all Mexicans, both poor and rich. Democracy and Justice for all cooks in México at home, at the Mercado, at a Fonda, at Fine Restaurant or at the President´s table in Los Pinos!
These blogs have allowed me to meet some very interesting people. I was invited to the culinary congress DESCUBRE CHIAPAS and maintain a good relationship with some of México best chefs as my twitter account shows. (@manuarriaga)
In the long term I would love to create a COOP in México where local people grow seasonal vegetables and maybe open a kitchen so they can profit from selling delicious food to visitors.
Pinche cocinero y aprendiz de nahual
ps. Why Mérida? Because is the closest Mexican city to Europe and because there´s nothing for a guy like me in Cancún.