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The Power List
The Power List 2019: The 50 most influential people in foodservice Amanda Iqbal Photography

The Power List 2019: Diana Dávila

Reimagining Mexican cuisine

The annual NRN Power List is the definitive list of people setting foodservice trends today and shaping them for tomorrow. See the full list >>

Diana Dávila, chef/owner, Mi Tocaya Antojeria

Diana Dávila wants you to rethink everything you know about Mexican food.

At Mi Tocaya Antojeria, her restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, she’s putting her own stamp on the cuisine with well-executed classics as well as personal dishes inspired by her own memories of family and travel in the country.

Mi Tocaya, which means “my namesake” in Spanish, opened in March 2017, and the accolades have been rolling in since.

Dávila was a James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist last year for Best Chef: Great Lakes region, and Mi Tocaya was a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. Eater named her its 2018 Chef to Watch. Food & Wine put her on its Best New Chefs list last year.

The restaurant’s interior is bright and bold — with colored tiles, vibrant murals and patterned flooring — and critics say her cooking leaves an equally strong impression.

“This is restaurant as scrapbook — each dish on the menu is rooted in memory,” Food & Wine wrote last year when it named her one of 2018’s Best New Chefs. “Her cooking is authentic to her own experience as a first-generation Mexican-American: It’s confident and joyful, and each course lands like the first few lines of a story you’re going to want to remember.”

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