Within twenty minutes from turning inland from the Baja California coast at Ensenada, Mexico the dusty brown hills became vine filled valleys dotted with a mix of rustic haciendas and sleek, modern wineries. At the Mogor Badan Winery, under the shade of three tall pine trees at the edge of… Read More →
Cooking with fire is the oldest form of cooking. Cave people did it. At the end of 2012 I found my self in Stockholm, Sweden at Niklas Ekstedt’s newly Michelin starred restaurant Ekstedt. Rather than focusing attention entirely on Nordic ingredients like every other of the moment restaurant in Scandinavia,… Read More →
What I like about chef Javier Plascencia’s Mision 19 is that it’s in Tijuana, just over the border. There’s something that hop over the imaginary line – seemingly completely unchecked when you are heading into Mexico – does. It’s a weird, wonderful feeling of entering another country even though you were in San Diego twenty minutes before.
I first discovered Enrique Olvera at Mistura, Lima’s annual gastronomy festival, a few years ago. He gave a presentation on Mexican food that echoed many of the same sentiments I was seeing in Peru about rediscovering native ingredients. He seemed cool too. Not in the least bit cocky, as many Latin American chefs can be. Pujol has been on the top of my Mexico City restaurant list ever since. The restaurant is now a decade old as Olvera opened it right after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York.
Maybe the Cancun area is what the Mayans had in mind as the end of world in 2012? Then again, maybe that message was misinterpreted. Yaxché (pronounced jag-shey) is one of the oldest restaurants in Playa del Carmen. Unbelievably, Mayan food is the focal point of the menu. Sure it might be a little bit gimmicky: there’s flaming coffee that I’m fairly certain that the Mayans had no part in. Yet, apart from Cochinita Pibil, Mayan dishes aren’t really utilized in high-end restaurants anywhere in Mexico. Rather than become more gimmicky though, the restaurant is increasingly working with Mayan communities in the Yucatan.