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Doña Angela, YouTube cook, stands in her kitchen

Doña Angela: The Abuelita Taking YouTube by Storm

She’s one of the most-watched chefs on the platform.

Doña Angela started her YouTube channel from her home in Ario de Rosales, Michoacán, showing people how to cook classic dishes in a traditional way. Her daughters film her on their mobile phones in her home kitchen, cooking on a cast-iron comal and grinding spices and herbs in a molcajete.

"She reminds me so much of my grandmother that has passed on," says a commenter in one Latinometrics article. "It gives me a small connection to my grandmother trying to teach me how to cook food from our heritage. Unfortunately, I was [too] stubborn to learn when I was a kid. Her videos take me back."

Who is Doña Angela?

At first glance, Doña Angela might appear like any normal 71-year-old. But over the last three years, the abuelita has become nothing short of an internet sensation.

Her authentic, wholesome cooking videos have garnered her a cult following on YouTube. She now has more than 4 million subscribers on her channel, De mi Rancho a Tu Cocina, and is the fourth-most popular chef on YouTube.

At the start of each video, before introducing her recipe, she always greets viewers by saying "hola mi gente, bienvenido a mi rancho," welcoming you into her home like family.

Her recipes are always seasonal and cost-effective. She cooks everything from from sweetened pumpkin and pan de muerto to chiles rellenos and everyday favorites such as enchiladas and tacos. She also prepares a number of other staples, such as tamales de harina y atole de tamarindo.

Her unbelievable success reminds us that there's no cooking like an abuela's  and no matter where you are in the world, Doña Angela can bring you into her kitchen in minutes.

Dona Angela cooking in her kitchen

How She Achieved YouTube Success

Doña Angela rapidly became popular thanks to her warm, down-to-earth videos in which she shares traditional recipes and cooking methods. She's permanently grateful for her fans and viewers, and makes a point of mentioning this every video. It's like going back to our childhood and sitting at the kitchen chatting with abuela as she tells us about every ingredient, shares life stories, and makes us feel appreciated and cared for.

Her reach and growth shows us just how powerful our Latino food can be among a range of audiences. Forbes magazine named her one of the "100 most powerful women in Mexico" in 2019. Alongside this, Chilango compares Doña Angela to local star chefs Karime López, who has taken Mexican food all over the world and is known as the "chef without borders", as well as Daniela Soto-Innes, named the World's Best Female Chef in 2019 by Worlds 50 Best Restaurants.

Like them, Doña Angela has introduced new global audiences to Mexican cuisine. But unlike them, Doña Angela has done it all from her own kitchen. She brings viewers into her home, and reminds us all of the joy of sharing a meal with family and friends. 

A big part of her videos and what she shares with viewers is her passion for her culture and years of recipes and traditions passed down from generation to generation. This makes her more than just another YouTube chef. Her videos are more than just another set of instructions, They are visual documentations of her culture, heritage, and history.

What she brings to the kitchen is heart, which has captured her audiences and made her la abuelita más viral en YouTube.

A pan of carne picada with blistered tomatoes and a molcajete in the background

A Recipe For Connection

Doña Angela's passion resonates with our communities as well as international viewers who love our food. Her loyal following is testament to how accessible and likable her content is – as well as the strength of our cuisine.

As Latinometrics notes: "Angela isn’t a famous actress nor a recognized chef with a long trajectory and Michelin stars. She’s a traditional abuelita from rural Mexico who decided to share her culture through food."

This makes her content all the more accessible. Viewers from all over the world can easily connect with her. 

It's also why her videos are also being used to teach kids in schools. In addition to helping them develop language skills and learn about cooking, the videos also play an important role in helping them learn more about their culture. 

What does Doña Angela have to say about all this? Not much; in fact, she's quite media shy. But she did send this message to her adoring fans in one of her previous videos: "Thanks to you I've gotten to where I am. Because you have supported me, you've helped me."

Bendiciones, Doña Angela! You're just the role model and teacher we all need! 

Daniela Jerez

Daniela is a foodie, coffee, and culture writer based in Miami, Florida. She was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and has written for Orgullo Latino since 2022.

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