We owned a sizable chunk of Caribbean beachfront within the wild and undeveloped Sian Kaan Biosphere. We were seldom at home. The ‘coastal living’ beaconed - the drive was 5 hours each way.
And there came a scout looking for a large old colonial kitchen which functioned. We had one.
So, Diana Kennedy came to stay with us and she brought her cooking class with her. Her students stayed somewhere else. She occupied the room we then had named after Frida, because it contained a small efficiency kitchen and it was large enough for all the things that accompanied Diana. She drove here from Michoacán in an old white truck.
I had read about her in a newspaper article - her studies and documentation of Mexican cuisines. It was an honor to stay home and provide this venue for her classes in Yucatan dishes.
Time passes — a hurricane, a new tour business, extensive Central American adventure travel and Casa Mexilio, our romantic Merida hotel prospers.
The photo above just happened one afternoon. We were in the new hotel addition across the street and she came - walking, with a cane - to visit and to gift a copy of her new volume.
We have read recently that she has donated all of her personal studies, clippings, journals, and research on Mexico, to the University of Texas. She went there personally to deliver her archives.
Diana was instrumental in my staying in Yucatan at a time when other horizons beaconed. The coconut trees died and I’d experienced a few close calls, but the ‘adventure Gods’ had intervened.