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Adan Medrano about the author

Cookbook Author Adan Medrano

Cookbook Author Adan MedranoAdan Medrano is a Chef and Food Writer. His recent history and cookbook  explains the difference between TexMex and Texas Mexican food.

He spent 23 years travelling and working throughout Latin America, Europe and Asia where he came to recognize the importance of food and culinary traditions. He returned to the US five years ago to focus on the culinary traditions of the Mexican American community of Texas.

He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. His professional work in restaurant kitchens includes fine dining at “Restaurant Ten Bogaerde” in Belgium, and volunteering as the Chef of Houston’s Casa Juan Diego, a shelter for homeless persons.

Adan Medrano is also an award-winning filmmaker and holds a Master of Arts degree in Radio, Television and Film from the University of Texas at Austin. In 1976 he founded the San Antonio CineFestival, the first and now longest-running Latino film festival in the USA. He continues producing media with a focus on food.

He has lectured about food & culture at academic institutions, including Colorado College, the Harvard University Coop and Northeastern University. He has showcased his recipes at Brennan’s restaurant in Houston at “Nao,” the CIA restaurant in San Antonio, and at the American Book Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

His book, Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage In Recipes, published by Texas Tech University Press (2014), received the “Finalist, Book Of The Year” award from Foreword Reviews.

Vita

Education
2010     Culinary Institute of America:  Certificate in Culinary Arts

1977     Master of Arts Degree in Radio, TV, Film, The University of Texas, Austin, Texas

1970      Bachelor of Arts Degree, Philosophy and Journalism, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska

Career
2009-Present JM Communications– Food Writer/Online Culinary Arts Producer

2014               Visiting Lecturer, University of Houston, Center for Mexican American Studies

2012               Visiting Lecturer, Colorado College, Department of Anthropology

2011               “The Candy Shop” collaborative art exhibit with visual artists exploring Mexican candy as identity                                and belonging

2010                 Chef, Radical Eats Restaurant, Houston, Texas

2008                 Chef, Casa Juan Diego, Houston, Texas, Shelter for homeless immigrants from Latin America

2006                 Chef de Partie, Restaurant Ten Bogaerde, Koksijde, Belgium

1986-2008    JM Communications, Program Director of the Foundations Grant-Making Program in Media and Communications.

  • Award financial grants and manage the grant-making program in support of educational, religious and social not-for-profit organizations in Latin American countries including Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • Award financial grants and manage the grant-making program in support of educational, religious and social not-for-profit organizations in The Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia
  • Evaluate media projects that received Foundation financial support in Great Britain, Belgium, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and Canada.

1982-86          CBS Television Network, New York –National News Producer

1982-86          Founding President, Hispanic Telecommunications Network –weekly production of “Nuestra Familia” broadcast on Univision Television Network

1978-82          Associate Director, Oblate Missions, the fund‑raising and development office of the Missionary
Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Southern U.S. Province

1978-82          Publisher, “El Visitante Dominical” the Spanish language national Catholic newspaper

1975-81          Founding Director, San Antonio CineFestival, the nation’s first and currently the longest-running Annual International Latino Film Festival

1973-78         Executive Director, Centro Video, San Antonio, Texas –Television and documentary production

Selected Professional Activities

THE WHITE HOUSE
.Consultant on development of policy for minority ownership in broadcasting (1978)

TEXAS COMMISSION ON THE ARTS
.Commissioner, Appointed by Governor of the State of Texas to a 6‑year term (1983‑89)

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
.Policy Panel for Media Arts (1978‑84)

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES
.Review Panel for Public Programs (1979‑82)

CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING
.Review Panel, Proposal evaluation (1979‑82)

THE VATICAN, PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS
.Invited expert, committee to write the papal document, “Aetatis Novae” (1989)

NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS/UNITED STATES CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
.Communications Committee (1991‑94)

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON
.Film Committee (1994‑2000)

FRESH ARTS COALITION – Houston Artists and Arts Organizations
.Board of Directors (2013)

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LATINO ARTS AND CULTURE
.Board of Directors (Present)

SOUTHWEST ALTERNATE MEDIA PROJECT
.President, Board of Directors (Present)

THE AURORA PICTURE SHOW -VIDEO ART
.Board of Directors (2006-2009)

WORLD ASSOCIATION FOR CHRISTIAN COMMUNICATION, NORTH AMERICA
.President, Board of Directors (2012)

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
.Juror, The Ecumenical Jury (2001)

CARTAGENA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
.Juror, The Ecumenical Jury (1988)

SAN SEBASTIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
.Juror, The Ecumenical Jury (2004)

CULTURAL ARTS COUNCIL OF HOUSTON
.Board of Directors (2002-05)

THE MEDIA, RELIGION AND CULTURE PROJECT
.President   (2005-09)

 Selected Professional Productions and Services

“Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage In Recipes,” published by Texas Tech University Press, 2014.

“An Introduction To Texas Mexican Cuisine,” presentation at The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio

“Notes on Cooking”  Producer/Writer – Video series on cultural and social issues surrounding contemporary food
and cooking.

Lectures and Demonstrations on Indigenous Food History, Tools and Techniques (during 2014 & 2015)

–Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York
–Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts-Harvard Coop, Boston, Massachusetts
–The American Book Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
–Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
–Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

“Indigenous Foods of Texas and Identity,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of The American Folkore
Society, 2014

Culinary Consultant to the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia

Central Market, Texas: Cooking classes, demonstration and meal service

“The Candy Shop,” an Art Exhibit (2011).  Cook and present Mexican candies as art objects, a
collaboration with three visual artists and sculptors.

“An Evening of Texas Mexican Food, Film and Meaning” (2013).  Food and Film art performance

“adansblog.com” review of Texas Mexican food,  resources, and history.

“Mexican American Cultural Center Mission”  Producer/Writer,  DVD documentary, Telly Award, The
Communicator Award
“Portraits of Faith: The Church in America”  Producer/Writer , DVD documentary.  Gabriel Award.
Fulton J Sheen Award, Telly Award.

“Belief in Media” Editor/Author, co-edited book published by Ashgate Publishing Limited, England.

“Hope In A Time of AIDS” Producer/Writer,  half-hour television program. Telly Award, American Medical Association Media Award.

“Soul Of The City”  Producer/Writer,  half-hour television program International Film and Video Festival, Certificate of
Excellence. Gabriel Award.  Broadcast on PBS and in Belgium.

“Living with AIDS:  An Occasion of Grace” Producer/Writer,  30‑minute TV documentary. Gabriel Award, Gold Plaque
at the Chicago International Film and Video Festival.

“Comunidad” Producer/Writer,  20‑minute video documentary.  Proclaim Award.

“I Work The Land” Producer/Writer, Certificate for Creative Excellence, US International Film and Video Festival

“Vocación” Producer/Writer, 10‑minute video documentary. Proclaim Award.

“Quince Años”  Producer/Writer, Bronze Plaque at the WorldFest Houston.

“Las Posadas” Producer/Writer,   half‑hour Christmas TV Special. Certificate of Excellence, Information Film
Producers of America, Inc.

 

 

 

 

7s COMMENTS

7 thoughts on : Adan Medrano about the author

  • March 27, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Hi, Hector.
    I don’t write about Tex-Mex food. The overuse of cumin in everything, even beans, is something that I don’t like. But it seems to have a lot of followers in Tex-Mex restaurants like Chuy’s and other similar places. I write about Texas Mexican food, which is indigenous to Texas, with a 10,000 year history of culinary traditions dating back to the first inhabitants of this land. Like Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puebla, Yucatán, Texas is simply another region of the larger regional indigenous cuisine that is now called Mexican. Yucatán food is very different from chilango food. As is Texas Mexican Food very different from Mexico City Mexican food. Each region has its variations, and each takes the flavors from the terroir and from the indigenous traditions of those early peoples. Here’s a review of my book that you may find helpful: http://digest.champlain.edu/images/pdf_downloads/Pack_PDF.pdf

  • Hector Bojorquez
    March 26, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Cumin in rice.
    As a chilango raised in San Antonio since 1976, I’ve grown to appreciate a lot of Tex-Mex food but I still don’t get the whole cumin in rice thing.
    It’s very rare in Mexico to use cumin as liberally as it’s done in Texas.
    How did that happen?
    I have a hard time believing that it’s a straight up organic Tex-Mex phenomenon that somehow “just happened”.
    Mexican food Wednesdays were a traumatic experience for me when I came here. Quality of the rice aside – I could count the kernels of comino in each scoop.

    I simply want to know if you have any idea how this happened.

    Honestly, comino seems incongruous to the rest of the dishes that I grew up in as a Mexican immigrant. With some notable exceptions- like tamales- comino tastes more at home in Indian foods than in rice that accompanies mole, calabacita, chilles rellenos etc. It stands out too much rather than blending in.

    I’ve seen people add it to caldo.

    I have to admit that it’s kind of a controversy for me— it’s always seemed like a spice people randomly use when trying to make something taste “Mexican”. Like in ground beef taco seasoning….we don’t do that Mexico….at least not as some quick way to Mexicanize a dish.

    In Austin, for example, in the 80s ANY Mexican restaurant always abused the spicr.

    Your thoughts.

  • silvia Hernandez
    January 28, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Despues de leer tu blog tocante al chocolate prepare el chocolate Mejicano sin leche! Es sabor es mas intenso y complejo. Me puso a pensar… Como preparaban los Aztecas el champurrado? Tambien sin leche? Cuando fue la primer vez que se preparo el champurrado?

  • June 30, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Te recuerdo. Dios quiera estás bien.

  • June 30, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Adan,

    Hace mucho tiempo que nos encontramos en OST, en 1975. Felicidades!

    Mauricio

  • May 23, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Hello, Mary. I will look forward to reading your piece3 on making masa, nixtamalization. Now that you mention it, would be interesting if Brazos Bookstore, Houston, wants to host a book reading there.

  • Mary Hintikka
    April 13, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Hello,

    I’m a native Texan, live in Houston and writing about the ancient process of making masa prepared by traditional nixtamalization for Slow Food. Bryan Parras told me about you. I’m on the Southwest-Mountain Regional Committee for the Ark of Taste, reviewing nominations, researching, and writing about foods to be catologued for the Ark of Taste. I saw a copy of your book at Brazos Bookstore yesterday and asked if you had been there for a book signing and suggested they reach out to you. I see you were just at UoH. So sorry I missed that! I would love to talk with you. Hope to meet you soon!

    Mary

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