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Andrea Lawson Gray

San Francisco, CA


My culinary training began in the kitchens of New York City’s Little Italy, at the side of my best friend’s Italian grandmother, and at home, at the side of my Bubbe, my Jewish grandmother. At the age of 16, as an au pair in France, I began to explore Provençal cooking. After I married, my mother-in-law taught me the Puerto Rican cuisine of my husband’s home. I added to this foundation as Executive Chef/Owner of Tai-Pan Diane, an Asian fusion restaurant in New York’s City Island.

But it wasn’t until I discovered the authentic ingredients and time-honored techniques of Mexico’s amazing culinary heritage, that I really came into my own as a chef. As I built my guest house, Casa de la Tia in Tenango de Valle in Central Mexico, I watched and learned as the women used recipes and cooking techniques passed down to them from their great-grandmothers, grandmothers, aunts and mothers. These, along with the culinary history behind the dishes, are collected in my cookbook, Celebraciones Mexicanas: History, Traditions and Recipes (AltaMira Food History and Gastronomy Series), co-written with Adriana Lahl. For the past seven years, I have been chef/proprietor at Tres Señoritas Gourmet in San Francisco, an award-winning catering company serving authentic Mexican food.

I write a blog on food, culture and life in San Francisco’s Mission District, MY MISSION: TASTE OF SAN FRANCISCO, and a column on Mexican cuisine for the

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