March 08, 2023
Raised in Mexico between the capital and the village of San Felipe Ixtacuixtla, Adriana was immersed in the county’s extraordinary food culture from an early age (her abuela was a street trader selling antojitos like huaraches, tacos and tamales). Adriana opened her first restaurant, Cavita, last year, serving traditional Mexican food.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Opening my restaurant in London last year was the most incredible experience, I’ve wanted my own place to cook my own food for so long! Following the opening, we received a mention in the Michelin guide as one of the best openings in 2022.
Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman?
Not just being a woman but being a Mexican woman. I have faced racism and sexism in NY and a couple times even here in the UK. Being realistic, in the kitchens you have to do double the job as a woman to get yourself seen, I didn’t have the same salary as men with the same job. It’s crazy that it is still such an issue in hospitality.
How do you think we can reach equity in the hospitality industry?
I believe that education, respect and giving support to each other is the way to get there, but also calling out bad or wrong behaviour rather than letting it go on. The most important thing is to also work on ourselves, especially in London where people come from many different countries. Working on the team values and having chats about healthy environments is essential.
How would you like to see the hospitality industry improve?
I would like to see more variety in the type of collaborations we see here in London, without judging people because of race, gender or because of their accent. More awareness of behaviour inside the restaurants from owners to employees but also between employees and also customers to employees. Work on honest and relaxed communication when something goes wrong or not as you expect. Work on emotional maturity, so people are able to communicate without screaming or hurting other people’s feelings.
What is the most important message/piece of advice you want to give to someone?
Don’t take bad behaviour or aggressions personally. Sometimes people react because they do not know better and are not equipped to respond properly, everyone is learning. If you feel some real aggression, communicate in a calm way and walk away if you aren’t getting anywhere. Do the best you can do for yourself to be in a safe and healthy environment.
If you could have dinner with 3 inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be?
My Grandma, Asma Khan, Salma Hayek.