Some of the people responsible for the advancement of Latin American (or any other) cuisine, and its increasing popularity around the world, are chefs showcasing that cuisine in their restaurants.  Others are writers who investigate and explore that cuisine, visiting the food markets, tasting the dishes at street stalls and in private homes as well as cafes and restaurants, and then writing about it for others to enjoy.  One character like that is Diana Kennedy, who has been featured recently in a documentary on , called ’Nothing Fancy’ (also the name of one of her books).

I enjoyed it enormously.  It was a fantastic celebration of a British eccentric, now well into her 90’s, widow of a New York Times journalist, living (and residing for decades) in Michoacan, Mexico.  She has visited every state in Mexico, tasting and researching in-depth the local dishes and techniques, taking detailed notes, and returning home to cook the dishes for herself.  She has documented regional Mexican cuisine in a series of authoritative, reliable and entertaining books which sell around the world.   She still cooks and teaches cooking – and takes tea every day like a true Brit.  Her attitude to food shopping and cooking is also said to have been influenced by her experience of scarcity in the UK during and after the second world war.

The documentary shows us Ms Kennedy’s day to day life in the mountains of Michocan, interspersed with video tributes from the likes of Alice Waters and Jose Andres, and unflinching expressions of opinion on chillies, children, and lots of other topics!  Apart from being an informative and mouth-watering depiction of regional Mexican cuisine, it was a highly entertaining portrayal of a fascinating and inspirational character.  I highly recommend it.