Maria Baez Kijac

Maria Baez Kijac
Did you know?

Maria says: “Latin cooks have always used a variety of fresh vegetables, grains, beans and fresh fruits in our daily meals. Obesity was never a problem because the portions of our meals were small, as compared to today and we did a lot of walking."


Maria Baez Kijac
Maria's Featured Recipe
Pisco Brandy Cocktail

Click here for recipe

Maria Baez Kijac is a cooking teacher, historian, consultant and cookbook author. She has taught cooking in the greater Chicago area for more than 10 years, including teaching Latin American cuisine at Chicago’s Kendall College.


Maria wrote South American Table, Cooking with a Latin Beat, and The Art of Cooking with Quinoa. South American Table was named by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards as the best Latino cookbook in the world for 2003 and, in 2008, Best of the Best.


Born in Quito, Ecuador, Maria came to the United States to earn a degree from Northwestern University. Drawn to learning about cooking and food, she attended Dumas Pére L’Ecole de la Cuisine Francaise. She later studied at the Alambique Cooking School in Madrid, Spain, and then spent time studying with a number of well known Latin American chefs.


Maria was a food columnist for Vista Magazine, and was kitchen director for the PBS television series, The American Family Kitchen.


She is a member of the Culinary Historians of Chicago, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Slow Food, and was on the Jury for the International Slow Food Award for the Defense of Biodiversity.


Maria lives in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Her blog is 


Latest Recipes

How To Peel And Cook Yuca

It's one thing to eat yuca, but it's another thing to prepare it! If you'd like to add yuca to your side dish recipe repertoire, then you'll want to take a look at this guide on How To Peel And Cook Yuca. You'll only need two ingredients and just a little bit of prep work, and you'll soon be cooking yuca like a pro. If you'd like some culinary inspiration, then you'll want to check out the author's recipe for Yuca and Beef Patties to get started in cooking with this unique and starchy vegetable. You'll definitely want to start cooking with this plant today!

(1 Votes)

Quinoa Soup with Pork

This is one of the oldest soups made in South America, dating back to the time of the Inca Empire. After the conquest, pork and seasoning...

(1 Votes)

Pisco Brandy Cocktail

In Chile, Peru, and Bolivia, the classic pisco sour is made with lemon juice, pisco, and egg whites, although personal and regional taste...

(1 Votes)

Fresh Hot Pepper Puree

This hot pepper puree is called for in many recipes in this book, especially in the cebiches. I freeze it in very small containers so tha...

(1 Votes)

Baked Turnovers

While I was in Santiago, Chile, I was told that the celebration of Independence Day, September 18, is practically synonymous with empanad...

(1 Votes)

Basic Boiled Quinoa

The two methods for cooking plain quinoa given here are very simple and can be used for making sweet or savory specialties. If you are no...

(1 Votes)

Fish Chowder with Fresh Fava Beans

There is nothing better than a bowl of chupé on a cold winter night. I especially like this variation from Peru because it is flavored wi...

(1 Votes)

Fish Stock

This stock is easy to prepare. Just remember to order the head and trimmings ahead of time, because they are not always available. The st...

(1 Votes)

Corn Torte with Chicken Filling Bolivian Style

Corn tortes are very popular in all South American countries. They are made with a base of ground fresh corn kernels mixed with butter, e...

(1 Votes)

Yuca and Beef Patties

In Paraguay, yuca is a mainstay that appears on the table, in one form or another, almost every day. Lampreado is one of the many tasty, ...

(1 Votes)

Goat Stew

Talkari is a stew of Indian origin that came to Venezuela via the island of Trinidad, undergoing some changes along the way. It is very p...

(1 Votes)

Boiled and Fried Yuca

This is a very popular way to serve yuca and is especially good as a side dish. These wedges also can be served with guasacaca (tomato an...

(1 Votes)

Golden Manioc Meal

Brazilians love farinha de mandioca (manioc meal), especially prepared in the form of farofa, which is nothing more than the meal toasted...

(1 Votes)

Hominy with Scallions and Cilantro

This specialty is always present when serving pork in Ecuador, whether the pork is in the form of hornado (roasted leg of pork) or fritad...

(1 Votes)

Basic Arepa Dough

This is the dough used for making basic arepas or cornbread. It is also the basis for dumplings, tamales, and other specialties.

(1 Votes)

Cookies with Dulce de Leche Filling

Alfajores are without a doubt one of the best-known cookies in South America, especially in the southern countries. The dough varies from...

(1 Votes)

Caramelized Milk

There are many stories as to the origin of this invento criollo (creole invention). One Argentine anecdote that seems not very plausible ...

(1 Votes)
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