For Conrad Punta de Mita’s executive chef, Victor Palma, cooking traditional dishes is about preserving the process and respecting the vast variety of ingredients that have been staples in the Mexican diet for centuries. But more importantly, preparing dishes from his hometown is a way to bring back memories from his childhood in Mexico City. Tinga, a chicken or pork stew served over corn tostadas, is a popular street food, an important food group that lays the foundation of Mexico’s culinary journey. The dish reminds him of dinners at home when his mom would prepare his dad’s favorite meal for the family. The recipe is simple enough to make, but the key to any of his culture’s culinary traditions, Chef Palma says, is mixing so many ingredients into one dish that grandma is the only one who really knows it all. “It’s well-known that if you really want to create an authentic Mexican dish, you have to pay a visit to your abuelita or tía to ask for the recipe,” said Chef Palma.