Chef Regina Escalante Bush : the new face of Mexican cuisine


  • Born in Mexico, studied in the France
  • Owner of 2 restaurant in Merida
  • Modern and creative casual Mexican cuisine

Other Mexican chefs here. Other Casual chefs.

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Regina Escalante Bush was born August 29, 1988 in Mérida, Yucatan to a Yucatecan father and American mother who has lived in Mérida for more than thirty years. Her mother had a fundamental role in Regina´s development and professional formation having transmitted her love of the kitchen to her from a very young age.

An international career

She started her professional career at seventeen when she traveled to Portland, Maine in the United States to work beside the Chef Cheryl Lewis in order to learn classic kitchen techniques and discover local ingredients.
Later, Regina embarked to Lyon, France to study at the Paul Bocuse Institute where she obtained a certification in culinary arts and an international bachelor´s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration. Her outstanding academic achievement made her eligible to carry out her internships beside some of the finest chefs in the world in restaurants of Michelin star ratings such as ¨La Table de Lancaster¨ where she worked under Chef Julien Rocheteau, ¨Hotel de Crillon¨ under Chef Christopher Hache in Paris and the restaurant ¨Le Petit Nice¨ under Chef Gerald Passedat in Marseille. She also worked with Chef Cyril Lignac in ¨Le Quinzieme¨ in Paris.
Her love for her country and her native city influenced Regina to return to Mérida in 2013 where she worked with Chef Roberto Solis in ¨Nectar¨. After working in Nectar for six months Regina and her partner Vincent Ros decided it was the moment to put the techniques and knowledge they had acquired during their professional careers together and open their own restaurant, Merci, where she is the executive chef.
¨Merci¨ opened its doors to the public on March 1, 2014 in Mérida offering breakfast and lunch using fresh local produce with seasonal menu changes. The directive of the restaurant is that all preparations be done in house and upon being ordered to offer the best dishes to the commensal.

MERCI’s Success

Such was Merci’s success that in December of 2015 the restaurant expanded to double its capacity. Nonetheless Merci currently sits 54 people as they seek to maintain what has been their distinction since the first day; personalized attention to clients and dishes of the highest quality served under the strict and absolute supervision of Chef Regina Escalante.
During the month of September 2017 Chef Escalante participated in the elaboration of the Larousse book ¨Great Mexican Cooks; celebrating their roots¨ by contributing five original recipes. The book is a collective effort of twenty-two chefs from around the country.
Today ¨Merci¨ belongs to the worldwide non-profit organization SLOW-FOOD, forming part of the “Cooks Alliance” that promotes the controlled and sustainable consumption of products made under strict standards of quality and creates strong relationships between consumers and farmers.

In October 2018 Regina participated in a segment of the taping of the documentary-series based on the writer/cook Samin Nosrat´s bestseller SALT FAT ACID HEAT that was broadcast on Netflix. Regina promoted the cuisine of the Yucatan through a tour of the Lucas de Galvez market and the elaboration of three recipes: Tikin Xic, sopa de lima and a dessert inspired by the classic pavlova.
In January of 2019 a second branch of Merci will open; in downtown Mérida in the cultural center called Paseo 60.

Other Mexican chefs here. Other Casual chefs.
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