When she was a teenager in the 1940s, Guadalupe Rivera Marin went to live with her father and stepmother in Coyoacán, in Mexico City, in a house that would become known for its vivid blue color, for its famous occupants and for the parties they would throw.
Her father, of course, was the muralist Diego Rivera, one of the most important Mexican artists of all time, and his wife was painter Frida Kahlo, who achieved worldwide fame mostly after her premature death at age 47. As Marin points out, Kahlo may have orchestrated the meals and gatherings with artistic brilliance, but she didn’t cook much (nor did she like cooking).
Marin, now 90, has had a long career of her own in public service (she was a senator and congresswoman in Mexico), education and literature. She came to Washington recently to speak at an event at the Mexican Cultural Institute, where I served some of her father’s favorite foods from her 1994 cookbook, “Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With Frida Kahlo.”
After Marin spoke, I interviewed her. Edited excerpts of our conversation follow:
Frida had a very advanced education for that era, she was very modern, but she didn’t cook and didn’t like to cook. After my dad and Frida got married, we all lived in a building together. Frida was very organized and a wonderful host: She loved setting up the house and adorning and decorating everything. She was very good at deciding menus.