2016 Chef Spotlight: Patricia Quintana of Lucila’s Restaurant in Mazatlan, Mexico

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Chef Patricia Quintana is the consulting chef for Lucila’s Restaurant, located on ground floor of Casa Lucila Hotel Boutique. Their menus feature unique, traditional Mexican cuisine and innovative locally-sourced Sinaloan dishes. The restaurant overlooks the sweeping Pacific Ocean, and features a generous patio, ideal for al fresco dining.

Chef Patricia Quintana of Lucila's Restaurant in Mazatlan Mexico

Chef Patricia Quintana

Patricia Quintana served as consulting chef when Lucila’s Restaurant opened in 2012, creating the concept of Lucila’s Restaurant and developing much of the menu as it reads today. As former executive chef for the Mexican Ministry of Tourism, and founder of Mexico City’s first culinary institute, Quintana holds an important position in Mexico’s modern culinary development. Guests at Lucila’s Restaurant have the unique opportunity to taste dishes inspired by her artistry.

FriendsEAT: Describe the cuisine served at Lucila’s Restaurant.

Chef Patricia Quintana: The state of Sinaloa – where the city of Mazatlan resides – is known as the “bread basket of Mexico,” and Sinaloan flare is evident at Lucila’s Restaurant. Guests can enjoy fresh ceviche and produce sourced from the nearby Central Market, as well as machaca, a traditional meat dish. Mazatlan is often referred to as the “shrimp capital of the world,” shipping and processing more than 40,000 tons of shrimp every year, and shrimp is a prominent ingredient in many dishes.

FE: What makes the restaurant special?

Chef Patricia: Located on the ground floor of Mazatlan’s only boutique hotel, Casa Lucila, in the city’s vibrant Centro Historico, Lucila’s Restaurant serves innovative Mexican cuisine alongside traditional Sinaloan dishes. The state of Sinaloa – where the city of Mazatlan resides – is known as the “bread basket of Mexico,” and, as such, guests can enjoy fresh ceviche, shrimp and produce sourced from the local marketplace, as well as machaca, a traditional meat dish, among other regional specialties. The bar program highlights local cervezas, wines, whiskeys and ports, as well as a vast variety of tequilas. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Lucila’s provides expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and a generous patio ideal for al fresco dining.

Lucila's Restaurant in Mazatlan Mexico

FE: Did you grow up cooking or did cooking come to you later in life?

Chef Patricia: My first experiences in the kitchen began at an early age, and after 18 years, I had sufficient knowledge to teach cooking lessons.

FE: Who in your life influenced your cooking the most?

Chef Patricia: My culinary history has its roots from my great grandmother Emilia, who enjoyed going to the market daily in Oaxaca, where she enjoyed all the different senses around, filling up her heavy basket to then go home and prepare all the food.

My grandmother Margarita (Mamanena), was the one who taught me to enjoy cooking. My mother Mago gave me the final touch, and thanks to her international experiences, helped me to develop a fondness of international cuisine.

FE: What made you decide to become a chef?

Chef Patricia: Being among the murmurs, the gurgling pots, the grinding corn, metate strainer, the pleasant crackle of the logs and the rhythmic clapping of hands when preparing tortillas, all helped awaken my passion for Mexican cuisine.

Eggplant Lasagna from Lucila's Restaurant in Mazatlan Mexico

Eggplant Lasagna

FE: What misconceptions do people have when they first enter the culinary field?

Chef Patricia: Everyone who enters the culinary field has to study and thoroughly learn the traditions, culture and cuisine of our country (Mexico). It’s good and essential to learn great techniques and international trends, but we must never ignore the vast wisdom each state of the Republic (Mexico) has to offer the world.

FE: What is the best cooking tip you can share for a novice?

Chef Patricia: I cannot speak of one cooking method, but rather I have always said that a “Chef must always preserve the authentic flavors.”

FE: What are your three favorite cooking tools?

Chef Patricia: Knife, cutting board and molcajete.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls from Lucila's Restaurant in Mazatlan Mexico

Homemade Cinnamon Roll

FE: What is your favorite ingredient to cook with and why?

Chef Patricia: The chile is so amazing; in the state of Oaxaca, there are more than 25 different species of chiles. There are more than 64 known varieties throughout the country of Mexico, which cook 70% of the dishes reaching our tables.

FE: When you’re home, what is your guilty food pleasure?

Chef Patricia: Chocolate is my guilty pleasure.

FE: What is your Favorite cookbook?

Chef Patricia: “The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià” by Ferran Adrià.

Lucila’s Restaurant is located at Olas Altas No. 16, Col. Centro, Mazatlan, Mexico 82000

Nearby Landmarks: Old Mazatlan Condominiums, El Venadito, and Joyeria Indio

Phone Number: +52 (669) 982-1100

Hours of Operation:

Kitchen Hours

  • Breakfast 07:30AM – 12:30PM (Monday – Saturday)
  • Lunch | Dinner 12:00PM – 09:00PM (Monday – Saturday)
  • Sunday 07:30AM – 05:00PM

Bar Hours

  • 12:00PM – 10:00PM (Monday – Saturday)
  • 12:00PM – 05:00PM (Sunday)

Happy Hour

  • Monday through Friday 05:00PM – 07:00PM
Shrimp Ceviche Recipe by Chef Patricia Quintana of Lucila's Restaurant in Mazatlan Mexico

Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

Also check out Chef Patricia Quintana’s Shrimp Ceviche Recipe.

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Chef Ken

Chef Ken

A chef by profession, a foodie at heart. He's been passionate about food and cooking since he was young. He is the online Community Manager of FriendsEAT.
Chef Ken