Mexican Cooking Show ‘From My Ranch To Your Kitchen’ Is A YouTube Hit: NPR

A grandmother, in a rustic outdoor ranch kitchen, is tearing up the internet in Mexico with her simple, home cooking. Since the beginning of August, it has 1.5 million subscribers.



NOEL KING, HOST:

A new Mexican cooking show has become a smash hit. It features a grandmother cooking simple recipes in her kitchen. In just over two months, she got over a million subscribers on YouTube. NPR’s Carrie Kahn has the story.

(CHICKEN SQUAWKING SOUNDBITE)

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: The cook is Dona Angela, 69. And his YouTube show, “From My Ranch to Your Kitchen,” is filmed at his farmhouse in Michoacan, Mexico — complete with chickens, fruit trees, and a rustic kitchen.

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DONA ANGELA: (speaking Spanish).

KAHN: Each video begins with his sweet greetings – “Hello, my people. Hello.” That day, she cooks breakfast. She begins with a sweet coffee – cafe de olla – brewed in a clay pot on her fire-fueled stove topped with a traditional griddle, or comal.

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ANGELA: (speaking Spanish).

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KAHN: In the saucepan, there is water, a cinnamon stick, unrefined sugar cubes, or piloncillo, and instant coffee. Then she roasts chiles and tomatoes for a spicy sauce served over scrambled eggs and fresh hot tortillas that she makes by hand in many videos.

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ANGELA: (speaking Spanish).

KAHN: Dona Angela reminds many of their Mexican abuelita, or grandmother. Her jet black hair is tied back in a long ponytail. You never see her without her apron. And his cooking style is unpretentious, like in this video that makes chicken and mole sauce.

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ANGELA: (speaking Spanish).

KAHN: “I don’t use measurements. I just grab with my fingers,” she said, while apologizing for the heavy rain. “My house is covered with a tin roof,” she says.

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KAHN: Dona Angela’s simplicity endeared her to many, like Teresa Rodriguez, 50, stepping out of a bustling Mexico City subway station.

TERESA RODRIGUEZ: (speaking Spanish).

KAHN: “She cooks with care and love – food cooked without her is no good,” she says. Rodriguez’s niece turned her to YouTube videos. Since last August, the cooking show has accumulated more than a million and a half subscribers. Some of his videos exceed 2 million views. Despite her internet fame, however, she avoids publicity. NPR tried for weeks to reach her through her social media accounts without success. She does, however, respond to critical comments, such as those claiming that she is manipulated by greedy family members or that her kitchen is filthy with soot from burning firewood.

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ANGELA: (speaking Spanish).

KAHN: “Don’t pay attention to those who criticize there. It’s just gossip,” says Dona Angela. She says her daughter and son-in-law shoot and upload the videos, and she is having a great time.

PATI JINICH: Oh, my God. I think she’s amazing.

KAHN: Pati Jinich, who hosts “Pati’s Mexican Table” on PBS, loves everything about Dona Angela’s style.

JINICH: And I love that she has a blender.

KAHN: Jinich says she’s often criticized for using a blender because it’s only authentic when a sauce is pureed in a traditional molcajete, the Mexican stone mortar and pestle.

JINICH: We Mexicans love our blender. And it’s just as authentic and delicious, (laughs) you know?

KAHN: No one is accusing Dona Angela of not being the real deal.

(SOUND EXCERPT FROM AN ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANGELA: (speaking Spanish).

KAHN: As she tastes her eggs and chili sauce, the video catches her viejo, as she references her husband, also eating.

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ANGELA: (speaking Spanish).

KAHN: “It’s so good,” she says, ending with her signature adios.

(SOUND EXCERPT FROM AN ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANGELA: (speaking Spanish).

KAHN: “I cooked you all these simple but delicious meals from my ranch to your kitchen.”

Carrie Kahn, NPR News, Mexico.

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