Universidad del Valle de Mexico (UVM) Campus Coyoacán dressed up to host Chef Carlos Gaytan. The Chef participated in a conference titled "A history and a Huitzuco Guerrero flavored star", during which he shared his expertise with students and faculty from UVM’s hospitality management program. In 2011, Chef Gaytan first visited UVM to receive the most important medal granted by this institution, the "Golden Lynx", which he received for his contributions to Mexican cuisine. In 2013, Carlos gave UVM the most meaningful award a chef can receive, his Michelin Star.
"When I say that I have a commitment, I mean, I'm not a person who wants the best for himself, I am a person who seeks the best for my people and I am proud to leave this star in Mexico to help motivate and inspire the students of this university," were the words of the renowned chef and owner of Mexique as he handed the coveted award to Luis Duran, UVM’s CEO.
"UVM is the largest private university in Mexico, we aspire to be what you have been in your life, we aim to teach our students what you can do with your life, the example you give us, not just with your presence, but through the generosity with which you share your Michelin Star. We are very grateful to you because that which is most important in education, which we live day after day at UVM, is the real life example like yours, that show our students that all is possible with effort. We receive with great humility and with a great sense of responsibility of what it means to have this in our hands and we always emphasize what is important for us: examples like you Carlos," were the stirring words of Luis Durán, receiving the award.
A story of perseverance and tenacity
It was in 1991 when Carlos, loaded only with clothes and dreams, decided to leave Hutizuco, a town located in Guerrero, Mexico. Fate brought him to "the Windy City" (Chicago) to begin his prolific career. When he came to this great city the first thing he had in mind was "find a job", which was not easy since he spoke no English. He began his career as a dishwasher, combining work with study, and he began to learn. Given his attitude and interest, he was quickly promoted to assistant chef and that's when his dizzying career starts. Four years later, he got a job at an exclusive French restaurant as executive chef. In 2008 he opened Mexique, an exclusive restaurant has become very popular due to the combination of the taste of Mexican food with French food. Gaytan devotes his time to running the restaurant and to helping young people achieve their dreams. "When you have the heart and the dedication to do things right, it all comes out well," said the chef about the students that follow his philosophy.
The magazine Chicago Social has distinguished Mexique for two consecutive years as its "Best Restaurant". Chicago Magazine put it in the top 20 restaurants in Illinois, the Chicago Dining Guide placed it as the best new restaurant in 2009 and the Chicago Sun Times has reviewed it twice. The restaurant has participated in the Chicago Gourmet event, where there were only two Latino chefs from 77 renowned international chefs: Jose Garces, recent winner of Iron Chef, and Gaytan. The Illinois Restaurant Association has selected Gaytan to represent Illinois in the national competition that seeks the best "American Dream" story.
The Michelin star
Michelin Guide was created in 1900 by André Michelin and has become recognized as the benchmark in culinary arts. In 1920, they began to list restaurants. In 1926, the stars appeared to designate the best restaurants, and in 1931 the classification appears in 1, 2 and 3 stars. Michelin Guide assigns one to three stars to establishments that exceed parameters focused on quality, creativity and dedication of its dishes. The restaurant Mexique was recognized this year with a star, a distinction that has led to greater acceptance of the establishment by the diners.
Gaytan at UVM
Carlos visited UVM campus in Querétaro, Lomas Verdes, Monterrey and Guadalajara, as well as Coyoacán during the week. Students in the hospitality management programs will have much to learn from this wonderful experience.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.