Lesley Téllez
Lesley Téllez

Lesley Téllez

Title: Contributing Writer

Location: New York, New York

Education: B.S. in Journalism, Boston University

Expertise: Mexican cooking, recipe development, writing
- Journalist for 20+ years
- Author of Eat Mexico: Recipes from Mexico City's Streets, Markets and Fondas
- Ran a top-rated food tour company for 10 years


Lesley Téllez is a journalist, cookbook author and culinary entrepreneur whose work explores food, identity and culture. Her articles and recipes, many about Mexican cooking, have been published in Taste, Eater, Bon Appétit, The New York Times, New Worlder, Saveur, Food & Wine, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times and Serious Eats, among other publications. From 2009 to 2015, Lesley authored the award-winning Mexican food and travel blog The Mija Chronicles.

Lesley is a recipient of a 2022 residency fellowship from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. She is an alumna of the Community of Writers fiction workshop, the Yale Writers' Workshop in fiction, and the Tin House Summer Workshop.
This recipe for arroz rojo Mexicano, or Mexican red rice, is incredibly easy to make. While some chefs and home cooks add vegetables like peas and carrots, this version lets the tomato flavor shine.
Chicken Tamales
Rating: Unrated
Journalist and recipe developer Lesley Téllez says the secret to a good tamale is mixing the dough until it's as airy as possible. You'll want to break out your stand mixer for this process. If you don't have one, use an electric hand mixer and enlist your family and friends to take turns—it can take up to 30 minutes to achieve the optimal texture without a stand mixer.
Ancho Chile Quesadillas
Rating: Unrated
Rehydrated dry chiles often have more intense and multidimensional flavors than fresh. In this simple quesadilla recipe, mildly spicy ancho chiles (dried poblanos) and nutty Gruyère cheese melt together for an easy snack or quick dinner. Find anchos in well-stocked supermarkets, at Mexican grocers or online.
This salty, spicy, citrusy mix inspires devoted fans—here's how to use it to add zing to vegetables, corn, fruit, avocado toast and much more.
Chipotle-laced broth and thick chunks of corn on the cob are featured in this healthy, smoky chicken soup recipe. The secret to the great flavor is cooking the vegetables in the broth that's made from cooking the chicken. Serve the soup with warm corn tortillas.
Dark, bittersweet hot chocolate--made with water, not milk--is enjoyed in Mexico City as an alternative to coffee. It's prepared with a special Mexican chocolate that usually contains cinnamon, ground almonds and vanilla. Look for high-quality brands, such as Taza, Hernán, Rancho Gordo or Seasons of My Heart, which are sold in hockey puck-size disks. To create the classic foam, you can use a blender, a whisk or a wooden instrument called a molinillo and a tall, heatproof pitcher, such as a chocolatera. Both are available online.