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I hope you’re hungry New York, because one of Mexico’s most legendary chefs is cooking up a plan for a brand new restaurant – her first in New York – at 114 Franklin Street.
Chef Carmen Ramirez Degollado is one of the most recognizable names in the world of Mexican cuisine. As the owner of the incredibly popular Al Bajio, Carmen, who goes by the name Titia, has been mastering her technique since the restaurant first opened up in 1972. Now boasting over 18 locations worldwide, El Bajio has become one of the most important chains to ever come out of Mexico.
Born in Xalpa, Veracruz in 1940, Carmen was raised traditionally to be a homemaker, never aspiring to cook for anyone beyond her loved ones. But as more and more family friends became enamored with her cooking, her perspective began to shift.
When her husband Raul sadly passed away shortly after founding El Bajio, it was Carmen who had to take responsibility for the business and bring her culinary expertise to the people. A devoted enthusiast of Mexican art, culture, and handcrafts, Carmen enhanced the popularity of El Bajio by decorating her restaurant every year with fabulous tributes to the various holidays being celebrated like Day of the Dead, Christmas, and Mexican Independence day.
Today, over 30 years later, Carmen is recognized as one of the most influential chefs in the country. Having been dubbed by the New York times as a “Matriarch of Mexican Flavor”, Carmen is dedicated to sharing her love of cooking with the world, and has authored over twenty books on the subject. Demonstrating Mexican cooking for the James Beard Foundation, the Ritz Hotel, and the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Carmen’s many years of study have earned her the reputation as the foremost expert in Veracruz cuisine.
Now, Carmen and her El Bajio team are gearing up to open their very first US restaurant. Tentatively titled Casa Carmen, the new restaurant will be opening up at 114 Franklin Street, replacing Tutto il Giorno Tribeca. With 2,500 square feet of space, Tutto il Giorno was a luxurious Italian restaurant that began in the Hamptons. While the Manhattan location has sadly closed, Tutto maintains two other successful restaurants in Southampton and Sag harbor. With plenty of space and easy street access, the location is well-suited for Carmen’s exciting new vision.