Chili and Chocolate

CHILLI AND CHOCOLATE Stars of the Mexican Cocina, (Troubador £11-99) was published in November 2008.

CHILLI AND CHOCOLATE was launched at the Fiery Food Festival in Brighton with a series of demonstrations of Mexican food on 20 and 21 September 2008

Signed personal copies of Chilli and Chocolate are available.   Please contact me for details.

México lindo y querido, si muero lejos de ti… “Beautiful and beloved Mexico, if I die far from thee, let them say that I am merely sleeping, and let them bring me back to thee” goes the traditional song.

In her late teens, Isabel Hood came to live in Britain, the land of her forefathers. But her heart and soul have never ceased to yearn for the land of her childhood, her beautiful and beloved Mexico, her land of luminous skies and rainbows, of snow-capped volcanoes and cascades of scarlet bougainvillea, of dazzling beaches and torrential downpours.

In this book, she brings to life the sun and light of Mexico, its colour and passion, and most of all, its bold, vigorous, aromatic food: the scent of a coriander and tomato relish, the fragrance of freshly cooked tortillas, the warmth of chilli, the earthiness of slow-cooked beans flavoured with chorizo, the sparkle and richness of an avocado and mango salsa, the comfort of a crisp golden churro dipped into cinnamon-laced hot chocolate – food memories which she knows are bound to haunt her for the rest of her days.

Mexican food is very underrated in the UK, and Isabel believes the main reason is perhaps that our experience of it is mainly limited to nachos and bottled salsas, taco shells and fajitas, Chiquitos and Old El Paso. But as she proves in Chilli and Chocolate, these are no more representative of real Mexican food than a tin of spaghetti hoops is of Italian food. They are nothing but dull sparks in a galaxy of bright and shining stars.

The book is illustrated by Philip Hood, an artist, architect and architectural perspectivist, who fell in love with Mexico and its food during his first visit with Isabel to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary.


“Isabel Hood’s new book Chilli and Chocolate has become my favourite Mexican cook book of all time with delicious and practical recipes from all over Mexico.”   chillipepperpete

“At last, a Mexican cookery book from a British perspective.   Isabel’s vivid writing effortlessly transports you to Mexico as she looks, tastes and smells her way around the country.”   Dodie Miller, The Cool Chile Company

“Chilli and Chocolate is a must for anybody who has visited Mexico and enjoyed its food;  and for those who have yet to experience that pleasure, it is an excellent introduction to Mexican flavours and ingredients.”   Manuel Diaz Cebrian, Director, Mexican Tourist Board

Useful Links