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Chef Chat: Austin’s Alma Alcocer and Jeff Martinez Share Mexican Food Memories

Chefs Alma Alcocer and Jeff Martinez have worked together for years at various Austin restaurants and currently own Alcomar in Austin, Texas, a Mexican food restaurant with a focus on seafood. Alcocer, a native of Mexico City, was classically trained but returned to Mexico after 15 years of cooking professionally to explore the ingredients and aromas she remembered from her youth. Martinez, meanwhile, grew up in San Antonio but never fully explored his Mexican heritage until he began cooking Mexican food and incorporating flavors he remembered from his grandmother's cooking.

We spoke with these two chefs about the role of memory in cooking, how their upbringings influence their styles and approaches, and how inventive chefs can be when trying to recreate familiar foods.

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