By Natalia Ospina
Five hundred years ago diverse ethnic groups collectively known as the Chichimecas, lived harmoniously with the grounds of Guanajuato. They were an extension of their territory; like the wind they traveled throughout their land picking up the wealth it offered them. They hunted and gathered, always leaving Ofrenda (tribute) in gratitude to Mother Earth and Father Sun for giving them life and sustenance. Wherever they set foot was their home and they took care of it as such.
The abuelos (grandparents) constantly shared the story of humanity—of ancestors and descendants—with the young. They taught them about plants and their remedies, about animals and how to cohabit the earth with them, about seeds and how to recognize, collect, and protect them because they are the continuation of life.
In colonial times, San Miguel de Allende was a crucial crossing point for those who took advantage of the vast wealth of the Bajío. Along this path, a material and cultural exchange was created between the south and north of Mexico. Treasures such as precious metals and minerals looted from other points were left in San Miguel and surrounding areas by chance or human maneuvers, such as those of the Chichimecas who robbed foreign looters.
It is this movement of resources and culture that inspired the culinary project “Ofrenda,” the imagination of a Chichimeca wagon carrying the treasures of the Mexican territory’s four directions.
Ofrenda’s purpose is to offer San Miguel residents and visitors the varied riches of all of Mexico through one of its distinctive cultural features: gastronomy—an art and science representative of the cosmology and worldview of our predecessors and its development through time due to external influences.
Here we seek to honor the origin of food—and its sacred purpose to feed the body and soul—with ingredients revered by our ancestors such as seeds, plants, and meat. This accompanied by reverence for the four elements that make this alchemy possible: fire, air, water, and earth.
Ofrenda exists to delight all the senses with the beauty of the origins of Mexico.
The menu changes with seasonal options as well as to cover so many splendid possibilities offered by Mexican cuisine, along with the techniques of “haute cuisine,” carried out by Chef Jorge Nieves who has worked in emblematic restaurants such as Pujol, Maximo and Rosetta, and has traveled to places like Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí and Guerrero in search of the flavors of his country.
You are invited to taste the milpa (cornfield) in a jícara (a dried fruit traditionally used as a bowl) or Guanajuato in an exquisite “guacamaya,” or the ancient heritage of the abuelos concentrated in our tamales and atole, or the semiarid field in the refreshing and nutritious aguamiel (mead) or pulque made from the maguey; or the richness of Oaxaca in some enmoladas…
With a variety of options for all palates, this place is an offering for the community in tribute to Mexico, past, present, and future, demonstrating that by looking inside we find the greatest treasures, food with a conscience and the OFRENDA VIVA (LIVING TRIBUTE).
Stirling Dickinson 9, corner with Potrero
Instagram / Facebook @ofrendasma
415 178 2515