Cookbook/History Author Adán Medrano
He spent 23 years travelling and working throughout Latin America, Europe and Asia where he came to recognize the importance of food and culinary traditions in society. He returned to the US in 2010 to focus on the culinary traditions of the Mexican American community of Texas: its history, recipes, and how this singular cuisine is showing the way towards a better understanding of what it means to be “American.”
The Mexican cuisine of Texas opens insights into how 15,000-year indigenous traditions suffered from and successfully dealt with immigrant colonial peoples who arrived 500 years ago. Colonial immigrants forcibly brought African slaves to the Americas. African traditions eventually met Native American peoples, and tastes and communities were formed, nourished by a new cuisine.
Adán Medrano is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. His professional work in restaurant kitchens includes fine dining at “Restaurant Ten Bogaerde” in Belgium, and volunteering as the Chef of Houston’s Casa Juan Diego, a shelter for homeless persons. He has lectured about food & culture at academic institutions, including Harvard University Coop, Colorado College, Culinary Institute of America, and Northeastern University. He has showcased his recipes at national gatherings of the National Association of Latino Arts And Cultures, at Brennan’s restaurant in Houston, at “Nao,” the CIA restaurant in San Antonio, and at the American Book Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Adán is also an award-winning filmmaker and holds a Master of Arts degree in Radio, Television and Film from the University of Texas at Austin. In 1976 he founded the San Antonio CineFestival, the first and now longest-running Latino film festival in the USA. He continues producing media with a focus on food. He has provided consulting services and created media productions for: The White House, The Vatican, The National Conference Of Catholic Bishops, among others, both in the US and internationally.
His upcoming cookbook, The Art Of Texas Mexican Cooking, will be published in summer, 2018, by Texas Tech University Press.
2010 Culinary Institute of America: Certificate in Culinary Arts
1977 Master of Arts Degree in Radio, TV, Film, The University of Texas, Austin, Texas
1970 Bachelor of Arts Degree, Philosophy and Journalism, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska
2009-Present JM Communications– Food Writer/Online Culinary Arts Producer
2014 Visiting Lecturer, University of Houston, Center for Mexican American Studies
2012 Visiting Lecturer, Colorado College, Department of Anthropology
2011 “The Candy Shop” collaborative art exhibit with visual artists exploring Mexican candy as identity and belonging
2010 Chef, Radical Eats Restaurant, Houston, Texas
2008 Chef, Casa Juan Diego, Houston, Texas, Shelter for homeless immigrants from Latin America
2006 Chef de Partie, Restaurant Ten Bogaerde, Koksijde, Belgium
1986-2008 JM Communications, Program Director of the Foundations Grant-Making Program in Media and Communications.
- Award financial grants and manage the grant-making program in support of educational, religious and social not-for-profit organizations in Latin American countries including Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico and the Caribbean.
- Award financial grants and manage the grant-making program in support of educational, religious and social not-for-profit organizations in The Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia
- Evaluate media projects that received Foundation financial support in Great Britain, Belgium, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and Canada.
1982-86 CBS Television Network, New York –National News Producer
1982-86 Founding President, Hispanic Telecommunications Network –weekly production of “Nuestra Familia” broadcast on Univision Television Network
1978-82 Associate Director, Oblate Missions, the fund‑raising and development office of the Missionary
Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Southern U.S. Province
1978-82 Publisher, “El Visitante Dominical” the Spanish language national Catholic newspaper
1975-81 Founding Director, San Antonio CineFestival, the nation’s first and currently the longest-running Annual International Latino Film Festival
1973-78 Executive Director, Centro Video, San Antonio, Texas –Television and documentary production
Selected Professional Activities
THE WHITE HOUSE
.Consultant on development of policy for minority ownership in broadcasting (1978)
TEXAS COMMISSION ON THE ARTS
.Commissioner, Appointed by Governor of the State of Texas to a 6‑year term (1983‑89)
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
.Policy Panel for Media Arts (1978‑84)
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES
.Review Panel for Public Programs (1979‑82)
CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING
.Review Panel, Proposal evaluation (1979‑82)
THE VATICAN, PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS
.Invited expert, committee to write the papal document, “Aetatis Novae” (1989)
NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS/UNITED STATES CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
.Communications Committee (1991‑94)
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON
.Film Committee (1994‑2000)
FRESH ARTS COALITION – Houston Artists and Arts Organizations
.Board of Directors (2013)
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LATINO ARTS AND CULTURE
.Board of Directors (Present)
SOUTHWEST ALTERNATE MEDIA PROJECT
.President, Board of Directors (Present)
THE AURORA PICTURE SHOW -VIDEO ART
.Board of Directors (2006-2009)
WORLD ASSOCIATION FOR CHRISTIAN COMMUNICATION, NORTH AMERICA
.President, Board of Directors (2012)
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
.Juror, The Ecumenical Jury (2001)
CARTAGENA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
.Juror, The Ecumenical Jury (1988)
SAN SEBASTIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
.Juror, The Ecumenical Jury (2004)
CULTURAL ARTS COUNCIL OF HOUSTON
.Board of Directors (2002-05)
THE MEDIA, RELIGION AND CULTURE PROJECT
Selected Professional Productions and Services
“Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage In Recipes,” published by Texas Tech University Press, 2014.
“An Introduction To Texas Mexican Cuisine,” presentation at The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio
“Notes on Cooking” Producer/Writer – Video series on cultural and social issues surrounding contemporary food
Lectures and Demonstrations on Indigenous Food History, Tools and Techniques (during 2014 & 2015)
–Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York
–Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts-Harvard Coop, Boston, Massachusetts
–The American Book Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
–Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
–Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
“Indigenous Foods of Texas and Identity,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of The American Folkore
Culinary Consultant to the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia
Central Market, Texas: Cooking classes, demonstration and meal service
“The Candy Shop,” an Art Exhibit (2011). Cook and present Mexican candies as art objects, a
collaboration with three visual artists and sculptors.
“An Evening of Texas Mexican Food, Film and Meaning” (2013). Food and Film art performance
“adansblog.com” review of Texas Mexican food, resources, and history.
“Mexican American Cultural Center Mission” Producer/Writer, DVD documentary, Telly Award, The
“Portraits of Faith: The Church in America” Producer/Writer , DVD documentary. Gabriel Award.
Fulton J Sheen Award, Telly Award.
“Belief in Media” Editor/Author, co-edited book published by Ashgate Publishing Limited, England.
“Hope In A Time of AIDS” Producer/Writer, half-hour television program. Telly Award, American Medical Association Media Award.
“Soul Of The City” Producer/Writer, half-hour television program International Film and Video Festival, Certificate of
Excellence. Gabriel Award. Broadcast on PBS and in Belgium.
“Living with AIDS: An Occasion of Grace” Producer/Writer, 30‑minute TV documentary. Gabriel Award, Gold Plaque
at the Chicago International Film and Video Festival.
“Comunidad” Producer/Writer, 20‑minute video documentary. Proclaim Award.
“I Work The Land” Producer/Writer, Certificate for Creative Excellence, US International Film and Video Festival
“Vocación” Producer/Writer, 10‑minute video documentary. Proclaim Award.
“Quince Años” Producer/Writer, Bronze Plaque at the WorldFest Houston.
“Las Posadas” Producer/Writer, half‑hour Christmas TV Special. Certificate of Excellence, Information Film
Producers of America, Inc.