Originally, I was studying to be a painter but began training as a cook and learning about hospitality. In 2006 I opened Casa Crespo bed and breakfast. Being an artist helped develop my passion for food. I learned that to be a cook, you have to also be an artist- and to be an artist you must know something about cooking. Both the cook and the artist have creative occupations that compliment each other. A true painter may not be an excellent cook, but they will appreciate the beauty of flavors. And a chef may never paint or draw, but they will be sensitive enough to understand and be moved by art.
When opening Casa Crespo, I decided I would offer cooking classes on traditional Oaxacan food. This required me to increase my knowledge of Oaxacan gastronomy. I had to learn about the flavors, ingredients and techniques that are authentically Oaxacan. My valuable resources were the city’s many markets as well as local chefs. These chefs, who came from Oaxaca’s different regions, understand native products and plants as well as the magic and colorfulness of Oaxaca’s diverse communities.
I was able to learn the limitless variety of regional Oaxacan dishes. Personally connecting with chef’s allowed me to deeply explore ingredients from each locality. All of my experiences helped me compile many recipes, which will soon be published and available to all. As with everything, I have continued learning new recipes and skills so I can continue to offer high quality knowledge of traditional food to my guests, who over time, have become friends.
With these first recipes, I began to organize private dinners for friends, travelers and artists from Mexico and beyond. All my guests were charmed by the Oaxacan region for its cultural richness and gastronomical diversity. The demand for these private dinners grew so strong that I had no choice but to offer my dishes to the public. I wanted to create a place to display all that I had learned of Oaxaca’s special cuisine. From this desire, Casa Crespo was born two years ago.
Casa Crespo is much more than a simple restaurant- it is a cooking school, where guests can learn, experience and create. Casa Crespo is also a gourmet chocolate store, displaying a variety of handmade chocolates, all with different flavors. Here we offer a special line of indigenous gourmet products as well as a well-stocked library with books on food from all the world. At Casa Crespo we also offer tastings of Mezcals from all over the region with the help from Mezcal experts.