An insider’s view is key to an unforgettable trip

All Frutas y Verduras Plant Food Lovers’ Experiences are presented by independent culinary and tourism professionals. They know their communities well, and have a passion for sharing their knowledge of the foods, as well as their love for the place they call home.
With our common Mission linking them, these local professionals aim to support local vendors and benefit the people of the communities that you’ll visit.
As you travel Mexico, connect with our locals in some of the country’s most beautiful destinations. Each tour or class is absolutely unique, reflecting the fresh food traditions of the region as well the creativity and perspective of the individual presenting it.​

The Enthusiasts

Margret Hefner


Margaret Hefner is the Canadian-born Founder of Frutas y Verduras Mexico. Soon after completing a design degree at the Rhode Island School of Design, she stepped into her first professional kitchen – Al Forno Restaurant in Providence, RI. This began a career that alternated between creating objects and creating with food.

In 2009, she was working as a Personal Chef in Canada, when a trip to Mexico ignited what was to become a long term fascination. While learning about Mexican food traditions, Margaret became interested in the history and traditions of the regional plant foods. Alongside this, was her curiosity about intercultural exchange, and the opportunities that existed for the culture of expats and travellers to learn about each other through food.

In 2016, after 2.5 years of development, she published   Frutas y Verduras – A Fresh Food-Lover’s Guide to Mexico on iTunes. This interactive eBook functions as a resource for English speakers to make use of regional produce of Mexico. During her travels around Mexico, to learn about the regional plant foods for this digital work, she began building on a network of people who shared her values, curiosity and passion. These connections created a base for the development of Frutas y Verduras Experiences.

Margaret is currently nomadic, making travel to build the FyV network her priority. She can be generally be tracked down in either Toronto, Mexico City or Oaxaca.

Listen to Margaret talking with Mexico City lead, Ubish Yaren, on his podcast Culinaria Nacional:

Ubish Yaren

Mexico City

Born and raised in Mexico City, I learned from a young age to appreciate food for flavor of course, but I was also interested in the social perspective.

At 18, I enrolled in the the Escuela de Gastronomia Mexicana. After completing the program, I became the sous chef of the school and traveled to New Zealand  as a “culinary ambassador” to demonstrate traditional Mexican food.

My more than 6 years in the food tourism industry have included collaborations with companies like Eat Mexico, Intrepid Travel and AirBnB Experiences. I’ve also contributed in research and developing recipes for several publications and books, including:  Mezcal Nuestra Escencia, Eat Mexico Cookbook as well as blogs and websites like Eater,  The Globe and Mail and VOGUE.

I love sharing my culture with visitors, in tours and culinary presentations and I love the Frutas y Verduras concept for presenting fresh regional foods to people!

Check out my podcast “Culinaria Nacional” on Soundcloud (English and Spanish)

I was born and raised in the foodie Mecca of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, and am a certified Natural Chef with ten years experience in professional kitchens. What I most love about living here in Merida is how integral food is to the culture and how willing locals are to share it with everyone who visits.

My Merida-born and bred husband and I moved back to his home city in 2014 and we now have two young children. I’ve spent the last four years learning about Merida, Yucatán and Mexico from everyone I meet here; be it what food to bring to a party, how to properly fry masa for panuchos, or how to drink your cerveza like a local.

I’m honored to collaborate with Frutas y Verduras Mexico in creating a tour that brings the proud plant food heritage of this region to a wider audience.

Erin Gómez Danielson


Suzanne Barbezat


I’m a writer, originally from Montreal, Canada, and I have made my home in Oaxaca since 1998. In my work, I specialize in Mexico travel, culture and food. Over the years, my writing has been published on many online platforms; I’m a regular contributor to the Mexico Travel section on Tripsavvy, and the local expert for Oaxaca on

In 2016, Frida Kahlo at Home, a book I authored exploring how Mexican culture and tradition influenced the artist and her work, was published by (Frances Lincoln, 2016)

I love sharing her knowledge of the country and information for travelers about destinations, attractions, cultural traditions, food, events, and much more and am a licensed federal tour guide. As a vegetarian, myself, I am delighted to be collaborating with Frutas y Verduras on a Plant Food Lover’s tour.

I seek a connecting point with people through the elemental art of cooking and the stories you can tell from it.

I was born in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. My career developed growing up in nature, travelling and researching gastronomies and philosophies around the world. I gained professional culinary experience to give me a technical base and take my inspiration from international icons in food to develop my own style: rustic cooking with a play of the wild and local ingredients at hand and in season.

In 2016 I opened Querencia, an intimate space in San Miguel de Allende where we specialize in fresh, regional ingredients and natural fermentations. I also love to engage in collaborations on different projects for restaurants and festivals, including these experiences for plant food lovers.

Esmeralda Brinn

San Miguel de Allende

Our advisors, mentors and participating chefs

Margarita Carrillo


Margarita Carrillo is a tireless champion of Mexico’s food traditions and global ambassador of Mexican cuisine. She is an educator, speaker, TV host, restaurateur and the author of “Mexico: The Cookbook” (Phaidon). As a member of the Conservatory of Mexican Gastronomic Culture, she was active in the successful campaign to put traditional Mexican cuisine on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010.

Alejandro Ruíz


Alejandro Ruíz is the acclaimed chef of Casa Oaxaca- ‘El Restaurante’ in Oaxaca City and Guzina Oaxaca in Mexico City. He is the leading culinary authority in Oaxaca, dedicated to the preservation of that region’s food traditions. He tirelessly mentors, educates and guides and is the creator and director of ‘El Saber de Sabor’ –The Knowledge of Taste– the Oaxacan festival of gastronomy and literature.

Alam Méndez Florian


Alam Méndez has restaurant life in his blood. As the son of Celia Florián (Las Quince Letras, Oaxaca) he spent his childhood in the kitchen. By the age of 11 he knew it was the life for him. His studies at the Culinary Institute of Mexico in Puebla were followed by internships at Michelin-starred Can Fabes and Arzak (Spain). Prior to returning to Mexico to head up the kitchen at Pasillo de Humo, he was head of production with chef Rosío Sánchez at the Hija de Sánchez taqueria in Copenhagen and is now Executive Chef of Urbano 116 in Alexandria, Virginia