Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mamá Dearest: Nip/Tuck with Elia Aboumrad

Since we think of the cheftestants as literary characters (Darwin by way of Escoffier) rather than as people, we enjoy finding out more about their backgrounds, as this allows us to lean our heads against the antimacassars and dream up Freudian motivations for the way act. (We've yet to figure out Marisa, but we're working on a theory involving stripper poles, icing sugar, dwarves and David Lynch).

Today's lucky cheftestant is Elia Aboumrad. After high school, our Elia was going to attend university to study medicine (in most European and Latin American countries, law and medicine are not post-graduate degrees; you go to college to become a doctor or lawyer). As we know, of course, she ended up turning to cooking, but it makes sense that she should have wanted to be a doctor, since she had a role model in the family, none other than her own mother.

In the Mexican magazine Protocolo, we found an interesting article on Elia’s mother, Dr. Elia Harfuch de Aboumrad, a distinguished plastic surgeon and lady who lunches. Dr. Harfuch attended the prestigious National Autonomous University of Mexico, which is the oldest university in the Western Hemisphere, and she and her husband have two daughters (which means Elia has a sister).

Dr. Harfuch tells the magazine that her profession has given her great satisfaction. She doesn’t believe that plastic surgery should be seen as something exclusive and limited to show-biz types, since “both politicians and housewives…get plastic surgery because it improves their self-esteem.” She forgot to mention the heads of the drug cartels, who are the other group in Mexico who really go in for plastic surgery (could it be that improved self-esteem helps in evading the DEA?)

“Besides,” Dr. Harfuch continues, “surgery of this type creates beauty and this is very valid because the body is like a house, which, once it begins to deteriorate or has defects, must be fixed up, painted, etc. It’s the same for the human body; you have to take care of it, clean it and fix it in order to maintain it in the best possible condition.” Goodness, wouldn’t Dr. Harfuch have had a field day with Butch Cassidy and Beer Bong? Perhaps Elia can get Spice Rack a discount on a breast reduction (plastic surgery is much cheaper in Mexico anyway).

At the time the article was written, Dr. Harfuch was working on a book on nutritional techniques adapted to the way Mexicans eat, so perhaps Elia’s interest in food didn’t entirely come out of the blue.

Dr. Harfuch may be a renowned plastic surgeon, but she’s also a renowned socialite, and articles about her in the society pages of Mexico City newspapers provide a delicious, Marxist-tingling glimpse into how the other 5% live in Mexico. We found her mentioned in an article about a socialites’ junket held at a luxury hotel in Acapulco. The group of socialites and society chroniclers traveled in fancy cars from Mexico City while sipping Veuve Clicquot on their route to the villas overlooking Acapulco Bay. Elia’s mother is quoted as commenting how odd it is to be staying in a hotel in Acapulco, since she already has a house down there, but that it is very pleasant to enjoy the comforts that a truly high-class hotel can provide. Well, she’ll get no arguments from us or Subcomandante Marcos on this one.


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Details about Elias glamorous weding in:
No doubt, and average mexican girl.