Cookbook author's Day of the Dead videos celebrate family and Mexican heritage
Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack — a graphic designer, food blogger, and "Muy Bueno" cookbook author whose recipes were featured AL DÍA's 2013 Christmas edition — is a woman of many talents. In fact, just call her the Mexican-American Martha Stewart. Only much younger, prettier and more family-centric.
It was family — her then 8-year-old daughter, in fact —who prompted Marquez-Sharpnack to release her cookbook in English in 2012. "When my Grandmother passed away in 2004," she said, "I was afraid her recipes would die too — thankfully my mother knew how to make every one of her recipes. And together with my sister, we co-wrote a cookbook that not only shares recipes but the memories and stories that go along with them. It is a delicious family love story."
Likewise the videos. For the past few years Marquez-Sharpnack has produced a Day of the Dead video that stars one or more of her children. While there is always an element of food in them, they are really a celebration of family and of what is passed down from generation to generation. In the 2014 Day of the Dead video — styled like a movie trailer — the children all name the family member for whom they are placing items in the traditional ofrenda. In the 2013 video, Marquez-Sharpnack paints her daughter's face and makes champurrado for them to place on the altar.
The Colorado-based author has just had her cookbook of northern Mexican recipes released in Spanish, but much of her renown is from English-language readers who have seen her featured in Latina Magazine, Saveur and Gourmet. The videos, like her blog of culinary adventures, MuyBuenoCookbook.com, are Marquez-Sharpnack's way of introducing a non-Latino audience to the Mexican traditions she loves and has made sure to pass along on to her daughters.