Carmen "Titita"

Carmen Ramírez Degollado, "Titita", as she is called by her friends, was born around 1940 in Xalapa, the capital city of the state of Veracruz, a city filled with the aroma of herbs, coffee, spices, corn and volcanic stone. At home, she learned to cook for her family, becoming involved in the vast cuisine of Veracruz, and then went on to tour a rich and prosperous Mexico, falling in love with the traditional Mexican cuisine. Even though she never thought about becoming a professional chef, it was thanks to her husband Raul and her friends, that she decided to bring her culinary sensitivity to a restaurant in 1972, starting El Bajío in Azcapotzalco, a family dream, in which she involved each one of her five children, especially Mari Carmen, Luz María and María Teresa, to whom she conveyed her passion for Mexican cuisine. Today, four decades later, Carmen "Titita" is an internationally acclaimed chef, an ambassador for the delicious Mexican seasoning, and a promoter of the customs and traditions of the Mexican dining tables, and a faithful spokesperson for the culinary culture in Mexico, focusing her activities on making sure that the authentic taste of Mexican cuisine will endure for generations to come, even if it means writing books, hosting festivals, offering cooking demonstrations, participating in lectures, or continuing with the discovery of further delights from all over Mexico.

Thus, Carmen "Titita’s" major concern, that of preventing the loss or distortion of the traditions of the Mexican cuisine, led her to write about her experiences in the kitchen at El Bajío and several towns in Mexico, in her book “Alchemies and Atmospheres of Taste”, which received two awards in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2002 as the "Best Chef Book in Spanish", and an honorary mention as "Best Chef Book in the World".

Gastronomical Events

Throughout the years, Carmen "Titita" has offered cooking demonstrations and has held gala dinners of traditional Mexican cuisine at such prestigious venues as:

  • James Beard House Foundation, Nueva York, E.U.A.
  • Ritz Hotel, Lisboa, Portugal.
  • Mana Lani Bay Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii, E.U.A.
  • Culinary Institute of America Graystone Santa Elena, Napa Valley, California, E.U.A.
  • Rio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, E.U.A
  • J.W. Marriott Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malasia.
  • Les Dames d'Escoffier International, Atlanta, Georgia, E.U.A.
  • Hyatt Hotel, Seattle, Washington, E.U.A.

Prizes and awards

Furthermore, she has received awards and recognitions, as well as carried out promotional and consultancy activities:

  • Prize 1998 Five Star Diamond Award de The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.
  • She participated during ten years in the gastronomic event of the Annual Festival of the Historic Center of Mexico City.
  • Consultant to various restaurants in the United States and Europe.
  • Active Member of the Mexican Restaurants in the United States and Europe
  • Member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), in the United States.
  • During three years, she showed what Mexican cuisine was all about at the Culinary Institute of America on Napa Valley, California.
  • Mexico’s representative in the U.S. television ad for the campaign for the consumption of milk-based beverages "Got Milk?" in Los Angeles, California.
  • Winner of the recognition "The 2006 Entrepreneurial Key" awarded by AMAIT and ABASTUR in México.
  • She was nominated by the New York Times as one of the two matriarchs of Mexican flavor.
  • Winner of the 2009 Award for Entrepreneurial merit.
  • Winner of the CANIRAC award for the Restaurant Management Merit Prize.