Top chef Martha Ortiz says she is proud to help showcase the creative talent of Mexico, especially in light of Donald Trump’s tirades against her country.
The award-winning chef, who opened her restaurant Ella Canta in the Mayfair InterContinental last year, said it was “easy not to believe” there was talent in Mexico because of the US president’s continuing “negative” attitude.
She said her restaurant and the V&A exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, which opened on Saturday, were among things showing the country in a positive light.
The chef, whose Mexico City restaurant Dulce Patria is regularly voted one of the best in the world, said: “In London, we are now celebrating Mexican culture, through food, art, film. It is not just food — Mexicans are winning awards for their films like Shape Of Water [by Guillermo del Toro] getting the Oscar.
“Mexicans are creative, we are talented. It is very easy when you have a neighbour like that man to forget that. It is easy not to believe it. Trump yes. Imagine having him as a neighbour. And everything negative that he says.” She added: “My country and my world will never be a place that he can trespass in. He will never be welcome.”
Ortiz said she was inspired by Kahlo’s work: “I adore female art. It is very precious. We have been so oppressed, art and creativity is our liberty.” The chef now has a limited edition tasting menu — Las Flores de México — in honour of Kahlo at her London restaurant. “I have long been inspired by the colours, the high contrast, in her works. I wanted to do that with the menu. The black next to the red and the blue,” she said.
The six-course menu, which costs £85 per person, is available until 28 July. ellacanta.com