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Nicholas Gilman, author of "Good Food in Mexico City: Food Stalls, Fondas and Fine Dining," was born in New York City. His father was theater critic Richard Gilman, and his mother, Esther, was an accomplished painter and illustrator. Traveling to Mexico City to study the mural movement, he became interested in the traditions of Mexican painting and culture. He worked as an assistant curator at the Hispanic Society of America for several years and later enrolled in the New York Academy of Art to study classical painting and sculpture. A painter as well as a food writer, he has shown his work extensively in the U.S. and Mexico. He has studied gastronomy at UNAM, cooking at the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, and is a founding member of a Mexican chapter of Slow Food International. He has written a weekly restaurant review column for The News, Mexico's English daily, and his work has been published in The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. He was editor and photographer for the book "Mexico City: An Opinionated Guide for the Curious Traveler," and in 2007 published "Good Food in Mexico City," which won the Gourmand Cookbook award. He was featured on NPR's "The Splendid Table" and has appeared extensively on radio and TV in the U.S. and Mexico. He lives and works in Mexico City.

Mexican cuisine has no high or low. Unlike in French, Chinese or Japanese cooking, it is from the humble tradition of everyday kitchens that

Mexican chef Luís Chiu tries a bevy of dishes during his culinary tour of Chengdu. Credit: Copyright 2016 Nicholas Gillman

I never dreamt the busy chef and owner of the finest Chinese restaurant in Mexico would want to go back to China with me.

Waiters, whose every move is choreographed, serve diners at Ultraviolet. Credit: Copyright 2015 Nicholas Gilman

I arrived in Shanghai dreaming of dumplings but instead was invited, by a generous friend, to a quixotic culinary experience that took much time

An appetizer of marinated raw scallops in "ash vinegar" with cucumber and cilantro. Credit: Copyright 2015 Sud 777

Mexican cuisine has no high or low. Unlike in French, Chinese or Japanese cooking, it is from the humble tradition of everyday kitchens that most

Otramanera's fresh sardine fillets dressed in a fruity papaya salsa augmented with a cilantro purée and crowned with edible flowers. Credit: Copyright Nicolas Gilman

Fine dining in Cuba might sound like an oxymoron. For decades, wisdom has been that restaurants on the impoverished island were mediocre at best,

Sopa de lima. Credit: University of Texas Press

My first trip to Mexico began in  the Yucatán. I landed in Mérida, which as David Sterling describes in his brilliant new tome, "Yucatán,"

Mexico City's caldo de gallina. Credit: Nicholas Gilman

Mexico City is one of the largest urban areas in the world, a throbbing metropolis that gives pause to even the most seasoned city

Josefina Santacruz cooks Asian food in Mexico City. Credit: Peter Norman

Chef Josefina Santacruz loves more than anything to eat. With an avid interest in Mexico's traditional cooking, what she likes best is "street" or