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Ven A Comer Supports Cookbook Collection

May 15, 2017

Recipes from Special Collections’ Mexican Cookbook Collection inspired a lively menu at Ven a Comer, held Sunday, May 7th at Hotel Emma. Proceeds from the event will support the development and preservation of this extensive collection, which contains 1,800 items and dates back to 1789. The Sunday event was part of a larger weekend festival, which also included a Friday screening of the documentary film “Vivia Mezcal” at the Mexican Cultural Institute, and Mexican street food from the Culinary Institute of the Americas served at the Saturday Pearl Farmer’s Market.

The evening began with hors d’oeuvres and a mezcal tasting with expert Pedro Jiménez Gurría. Music from a duo of acoustic guitarists filtered in from the patio as guests mingled and perused examples from the cookbook collection. A variety of cookbooks were on display throughout the evening for guests to see, including manuscript cookbooks, artists’ books, and cookbooks from the queen of Mexican cooking, Josefina Velásquez de León. The cookbooks were displayed in a food and drink-free area to ensure that they remain in the best condition possible for continued preservation.

The reception was followed by a six-course family-style meal, created by a team of talented chefs from San Antonio and Mexico, including Fabián Delgado, Diego Galicia, Jaime Gonzalez, Jenn Riesman, and Rico Torres. Guests enjoyed dishes inspired by recipes in the collection, such as Ensalada de Nopales (Nopal cactus salad) and Braised Wild Boar over Garbanzos and Pipián. Each course revealed a unique balance of familiar and fresh flavors, both comforting and exciting to the palate. Dinner was followed by an impressive and delectable array of desserts, which were complemented by a cozy horchata mezcal nightcap.


A most sincere thank you to our sponsors, staff, chefs, collaborators, and to all who attended! Your support and hard work helps us keep these culinary treasures alive and available for generations to come.

You can view more photos and read more about the event on the UTSA Libraries Facebook page, Special Collections’ Instagram, our website, and the Rivard Report.

The Mexican Cookbook Collection is open to casual researchers, aspiring cooks, and professional chefs alike. A selection of cookbooks are available to view online, but most books must be explored in person. The cookbooks can be viewed by appointment in our reading room on the fourth floor of the John Peace Library on Main Campus.

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