Barbara Sibley

La Palapa


Barbara Sibley was born and raised in Mexico City. For many years she has collected traditional, rare and ancient Mexican recipes, including 17th Century recipes from Mexico’s convent kitchens, and traditional ingredients. Her influences include Diana Kennedy, the well-known Mexican Cookbook author as well as the many regional cooks she has met in her travels throughout Mexico. Her extensive experience led her to open La Palapa Cocina Mexicana in 2000. As a truly authentic Mexican restaurant, La Palapa has been awarded the “Disctinctivo” by Sabores Autenticos de Mexico Foundation which promotes authentic Mexican products. Barbara is a past president of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, and previous trustee of Les Dames D’Escoffier NY, LDNY. In 2022 she was awarded the Operator of the Year award from the Industry Excellence Awards presented by the Food and Restaurant Expo and selected as a member of the Fall 2022 James Beard Foundation Women Entrepreneurial Program. Sibley co-authored the cookbook, Antojitos: Festive and Flavorful Mexican Small Plates. She is a featured contributor to many cookbooks including: The Way We Ate: 100 Chefs Celebrate a Century at the American Table, Mocha, Women Chef of New York, and WW Fresh Mex! During the pandemic she served over 85,000 meals to frontline hospital workers, nursing homes, and soup kitchens.


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