TV host bridges cultural barriers

11/29/2012 04:35:00 PM
Chuck Robinson

Chuck Robinson, Media WatchChuck Robinson, Media WatchI burned a vacation day just after Thanksgiving to help fix things on my in-laws’ house. My job was to crawl on the roof and paint fascia boards near the peak of the roof.

It was a bit gusty and chilly, but up I went with a scraper, paint brush and some primer.

In between primer and top coats, I went inside to warm my hands. I plopped myself in front of the TV for a break.

That’s when I met Pati Jinich, host of “Pati’s Mexican Table” on public television.

Since the changeover from analog to digital TV signals in 2009, households without cable TV have benefited from greatly expanded public TV programming. In our area, one subchannel broadcasts programs from CreateTV, a digital network that offers a variety of instructional, informational and DIY-type programs. There’s something on 24/7.

“Pati’s Mexican Table” hit the air in April 2011. Its host was born and raised in Mexico City and has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from Georgetown University. She switched gears to focus on research and share her knowledge about Mexican cuisine.

On the program, she introduces viewers to Mexican ingredients and cooking techniques. She also mixes in information about regional cultures and Mexican history and traditions.

The first episode I watched showed Jinich making Mexican wedding cookies, which is what we gringos call them, but they are known as polvorones in Mexico.

“Pati’s Mexican Table” builds on work Jinich did through a series of culinary talks, cooking demonstrations and tasting dinners called Mexican Table for the Mexican Cultural Institute, an educational outreach arm of the Mexican Embassy.

Some familiar names and logos flash on screen in the opening and closing of the program.

APEAM, the organization representing avocado exporters from Michoacan, Mexico, is one of the sponsors, and its Avocados From Mexico logo is displayed before and after the program and on the website. You also can find interviews and recipes from Jinich on the Avocados from Mexico website.

AMHPAC, the Mexican association of protected horticulture producers, is another sponsor.

It’s important to remind people there is more to Mexican cuisine than cheese-choked burritos and deep-fried chimichangas. Jinich’s example helps educate U.S. viewers about homestyle Mexican food that is wholesome and healthy and that uses fresh produce. Judging from APEAM’s website and all the Pati Jinich information and recipes there, APEAM has really bought into the message.


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Anne Parr    
Louisiana  |  November, 30, 2012 at 03:23 AM

Pati's home-style cooking is healthy and flavorful. Her enthusiasm is wonderful. Thank you, CreateTV, for showcasing straightforward family-friendly Mexican cooking.

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