Mexican, up & coming, culinary star, Yudit Camacho, takes us into her family kitchen and shares her favorite recipe
In our journey through Mexico, we’ve had the chance to discover artisans and artists across disciplines and industries, which gives us an insider view of the country, its culture, natural treasures, and people. It is during this whirlwind of exploration that we met Yudit Camacho, an incredible chef-turned-culinary star hailing from Sinaloa state.
When I try to imagine Yudit as a child, I see a young girl with dark, piercing eyes following her mother’s every movement with attentiveness and curiosity - stirring a soup, kneading some dough, adding a hint of spices, cracking an egg with the expert flicker of a wrist.
The only girl and eldest of her siblings, Yudit grew up bound by a strong sense of camaraderie with her mother. When she was only a few years old, her mother put Yudit on her small children’s tower against the kitchen counter and told her to watch what she was doing. She put a spoon - cuchara in Spanish - in her hand, and Yudit’s love story with food began.
It’s fair to say that spoon hasn’t left Yudit’s hand for the next four decades, and today follows her in a bigger adventure still, which saw her going from being a loving wife and restaurant owner to the trendiest mom-turned-food influencer in the whole of Mexico.
Yudit was born in the town of Guámuchil, Sinaloa state, barely kilometers from the coast facing beautiful Baja California Sur, where she now lives with her husband and two children in hip La Paz. Through the years and frequent moves for her husband’s work, her love and dedication to food and family have been a strong constant in her life.
“When I was young preparing and eating food was a moment of sharing and unity for the whole family. My brothers would peel the shrimps, I would cut them and my mum would assemble them in her famous ceviche. We had shellfish, all sorts of soups, barbecue meat, and plenty of vegetables… Those are the flavors and smells of my childhood, and they remain a strong influence in my recipes today.”
Similarly, her family remains a paramount element in Yudit’s life and work. It was 2012 when she first started understanding that her dedication to food might be something beyond a personal passion. Her friends constantly called her to ask for advice or recipes from her, which earned her the nickname El Recetario Vivente, “the living recipe book”. Keen to transfer her knowledge from her ever-working brain to a more structured place, she started a blog for her recipes. “It was the ugliest blog you’ve ever seen! I wasn’t doing it properly, I just wanted to put things down so that it wouldn’t all be a confused bunch of ingredients and recipes in my head. I have learned to cook from practice, in a very rustic way, and I wanted to put some order in all that.”
When 2020 struck with its dose of misfortunes, Yudit’s children went back home and Yudit’s restaurant in La Paz was forced to close temporarily. Sitting at home doing nothing was really not Yudit’s cup of tea, her brain constantly conjuring up delicious feasts and scouring the internet for recipes from her favorite chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi.
It was Yudit’s daughter Andrea who suggested she use this time to take her food blogging to the next level. The pair locked themselves in the house and started cooking, buying ingredients, eating, putting on weight, losing it, doing another lot of online shopping, cooking some more, and, somewhere in the middle of all this, Cuchara Mía was born and grew to a full-scale phenomenon with over 250K combined following on social media.
The generations have come full circle. Yudit learned it all by watching her mother conjure up scrumptious feasts without a single electrical kitchen utensil in their kitchen back in Guámuchil forty years ago. Today, Andrea follows her mother around in her cooking endeavors as her official photographer, social media manager, and assistant, while Yudit learns to take a deep breath and focus on the details from Andrea’s calm demeanor.
“We are very, very different people,” Andrea laughs at her mother sitting next to her on our Zoom interview, “But we complement each other fully. My mom is completely hyperactive. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her sitting down for longer than the time it takes to have a meal! I am more relaxed, I have my routines, my processes.”
Yudit credits Andrea wholly for the aesthetics of her brand and the quality of her photography and videos, which sometimes Yudit’s son Miguel also helps with as he’s studying cinema at the moment. “I love to cook, but I have no patience for these things! Working with Andrea has taught me a lot about the importance of paying attention to details, the aesthetics of plating and presenting your food. Andrea helped me see things I wasn't aware of before; discovering in the process that secret ingredient that has turned Cuchara Mia's into the success it is today. We’re both growing up and becoming better artists together.”
And calling Yudit’s and Andrea’s work art is by far not an overstatement. Scrolling through Cuchara Mía’s Instagram feed populated with Andrea’s beautiful photography and their funky TikTok tutorials, one can almost taste the richness of her cooking and the freshness of the ingredients, and smell the fresh herbs and spices Yudit loves to use, such as coriander, basil, rosemary, and cumin.
Yudit & Andrea’s journey has only just begun, and they are both incredibly excited about what the future holds. “Aside from the success of Cuchara Mía as a culinary brand, I feel so blessed to wake up every morning and know I will spend the day doing what I love surrounded and helped by my family. It’s a priceless feeling.”
We’re delighted - not to mention famished - to share below Yudit’s own recipes for Beer Battered Fish & Shrimp Tacos and her funky Tangerine Mezcalita cocktail recipe. Read on for a finger-licking Mexican meal and find Yudit on Instagram, TikTok, and at her restaurant Sushi Zone in La Paz.
Beer Battered Fish and Shrimp Tacos
1 kg of fish strips or whole shrimp
2 cups of flour
1/4 cup of mustard
1 bottle of beer (355 ml, any kind)
1/3 tsp instant yeast
Sprinkle of Maggi Seasoning
Salt, pepper, and Oregano to taste
Seasoned Mayonnaise (4 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 1/2 tbsp mustard, 1 tbsp white vinegar, salt, and pepper)
Season the fish strips or shrimp with salt, pepper, and lemon.
Mix together the flour, mustard, yeast, beer, salt, pepper, and oregano and beat until all is uniformly mixed.
Dip the seasoned fish or shrimp into the batter and then fry in hot vegetable oil. Remove when the covering turns golden brown.
Place the fish or shrimp in a paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve in a tortilla and accompany your taco with my seasoned mayonnaise, lemon, and other toppings of your choice such as hot sauce or shredded cabbage.
Dip the rim of your glass in Chamoy, salt, and chili powder. Place a few ice cubes inside the glass and pour over the mezcal and tangerine juice.
Fill up the glass with sparkling water, and add sweetener to taste. For a final touch of class, decorate the glass with tangerine and flowers.