Kirsten West, The Culinary Explorer, is an international chef and cooking instructor. More than 25 years of studying the Mexican cuisine included traveling to the different regions of the country. Her teachers were many wonderful Mexican home and professional cooks, as well as authorities of the cuisines such as Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless, with whom she collaborated with for eight years.
Her fascination with the culture of Mexico started at age 12 in history class, taught in her native Germany. On her first visit to Mexico, with the intention to explore the archeological ruins, she unexpectedly fell in love with Mexican food. The rich offerings at the markets she visited surpassed anything she had ever seen. With the realization that this most fascinating cuisine in the world had influenced the cuisines of Europe and Asia in a profound way, it became the passion and fascination of her food studies. It will never cease to amaze and surprise her.