Who are we?
Born in 1961 in Mexico, Mili is a trained Chef and teaches Mexican cooking. She is also an amateur photographer. Mili has two children, Becky and Samuel, and four grandchildren, all of whom live in Israel, and so she makes sure to pamper them every time she visits by cooking her Mexican delicacies. “I always fill my suitcase with tortillas, tacos and nachos, and happily pay the fine for being overweight at the airport because my grandchildren love it so much,” Mili says proudly with a wide smile.
Born in 1964 in Mexico, Ariel studied psychology and now works in asset management. He is an amateur nature and architecture photographer. Ariel’s daughter, Yael, also lives in Mexico. Due to the pandemic, like so many, Ariel has had to work from home this past year, but was delighted to do so. Being Millie’s biggest culinary fan, he can now enjoy her food daily at any time.
Shai, the family dog
13 years old. “He is a part of the family. We found him on the street shortly after we met and we named him Shai (meaning ‘gift’ in Hebrew) because he is like a gift to us,” says Mili. “Every day I cook him chicken and rice with vegetables, like carrot and zucchini, and he really loves it. Because he is not well, I now steam his food in the Thermomix, as it is healthier and better for him. Anyone that comes to visit wants to try Shai’s food.”
Where was the photo taken?
Mili and Ariel met in 2008 and live in the La Herradura neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City. “Our house is always open, and we love to entertain,” says Ariel. “Food plays an important role: we invite friends over to really eat, not just to meet.” The kitchen and dining area, covered with plants and especially orchids, is the couple’s favorite part of the house. “We spend every opportunity here,” they say.
Our family kitchen
Mili learned to cook from her mother whose grandmother emigrated to Mexico from Poland. “I will never forget how she taught me to sew a stuffed chicken: I was only 10 years old, and with the help of a needle and a special thread made of cotton I sewed the chicken so that the filling would not spill out.” Even today, this stuffed chicken features on their table at Rosh Hashanah and Passover, along with other Eastern European dishes, such as chopped liver (one of Ariel‘s favorite dishes) and Gefilte Fish (one of Ariel’s least favorite dishes) cooked the Mexican Jewish way: fish cakes poached in a tomato, olive, hot pepper sauce (naturally). Mili explains that the dish is named Veracruzana after the Gulf-adjacent region of Mexico, where most Jews who emigrated from Europe landed, and likely from where the dish originated.
The House Special: Chile Relleno’s
Mili’s chile relleno’s are Ariel’s favorite dish. “I fill mine with cheese, and I do not fry the peppers in the same way,” says Mili, who makes sure to serve this dish at least once a week, much to Ariel’s satisfaction.