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bourdain

CALLING ALL MEXICANS

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Sorry, Tony, I tried. My ex father-in-law, a (native) resident of DF, has traveled the world on his belly (no small feat). The man went to Antarctica, presumably to eat penguin sushi.

He couldn't cough up a single new name of a Mexican chef.

That's how good this crowd is.

Let me know when you're doing a piece on surfers, though. I got chefs and farmers, yah.

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Chef Martin Rios at the Old House Restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

His innovative approach to food might most appropriately be called Contemporary Global cuisine with his own emphasis on fresh produce, Southwestern and Asian influences, and French technique. The menu changes frequently, using the freshest seasonal and regional ingredients available…complemented by Chef Rios's signature sauces.

Recognition of the world-class cuisine Chef Rios offers at the Old House has come in the form of AAA’s Four Diamond Award, Zagat’s choice for the best dining in New Mexico and one of the best restaurants in America, and the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence — Rios is the only New Mexico chef to ever receive this honor.

Bio exerpt from James Beard event

Rios started in the business at an early age, making tortillas in his family's modest restaurant in Guadalajara, Mexico. When he was 15, the family moved to Sante Fe, and Rios soon got an after-school job washing dishes at the former Sheraton Hotel. When the pantry cook quit in a fit of pique one night, Rios stepped in. Over time, this promising young chef moved up to executive sous-chef. In 1986 he was hired as head cook at the Eldorado Hotel, and within six years he had worked his way up to executive chef.

...

Today, Rios heads a kitchen that turns out a menu of delicious Southwestern fare with classic French and Asian accents.


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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...high-end/"nouvelle" Mexican chefs...

If you had any idea how much of a contridiction in terms (and thought process) that term implies, you'd laugh yourself silly.

All Mexican food north of Texas is shit.

Daniel Aleman

Austin


Edited by BigboyDan (log)

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Edgar Rodriguez, Salbute in Hinsdale, Il. He is from Durango and has a terrific sensibility about his native cuisine.


wine is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy
Ted Cizma

www.cheftedcizma.com

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What a short list.

How about chefs of Mexican descent cooking high end/nouvelle regardless of type of cuisine?


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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My husband, Adán Saavedra, is the chef-owner of Paloma in Philadelphia. He was born in Tumbiscatío, Michoacán, and raised in the DF. His culinary training is French and his cuisine is French-Mexican fusion.

(FWIW, the critics have raved and Paloma got the only 29 in the Philadelphia Zagat Guide for 2005 and 2006.)

Paloma Mexican Haute Cuisine

6516 Castor Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19149

215-533-0356

Open for dinner only Tuesday through Saturday

Barb


Edited by bjcohan (log)

Barb Cohan-Saavedra

Co-owner of Paloma Mexican Haute Cuisine, lawyer, jewelry designer, glass beadmaker, dessert-maker (I'm a lawyer who bakes, not a pastry chef), bookkeeper, payroll clerk and caffeine-addict

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Johnny Alamilla - not sure where he's from though...

and alma is now closed...

Central American/American, I think.

I seem to recall he closed Alma to move to Tahoe or Reno, so he could be closer to the slopes. I don't remember if he was planning on being involved in Food Service there.

Found article:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGC5DDCFI1.DTL

-Erik


Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Is Dudley Nieto of Chapultepec-- formerly of Chapulin, both in Chicago-- from Mexico?

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Besides Peter, Alex and I, everyone else who worked in the kitchen was just a worker. These weren't cooks, they were just guys doing a job. They were all Domincan or Ecuadorian immigrants. None of them had worked in a kitchen before and they seemed happy just to have a job.

This is from The Seasoning of a Chef by Doug Psaltis with Michael Psaltis. This came to my attention because I thought it was an unfair put down of a restaurant started on a small budget by a chef with big ideas who was willing to start small, work in the kitchen and train an inexperienced staff. It was only after the second reading that I realized how gratuitous the mention of the ethnicity of the workers was. It's unnecessary, it doesn't add a thing, except to show the prejudices of a young white kid working in a New York restaurant kitchen. Worse yet, Doug Psaltis was working directly under executive chef Alex Urena, whose father was a reknowned butcher working with a number of New York's best restaurants and who himself was a second generation resdident.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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There's four of them from the Sandoval family: Philip (I think in San Francisco), Richard (Maya and Pampanos), Alfredo (Manages several restaurants including Sushi Samba but supposedly cooks better than any of his brothers) and Patricio (Mercaditio). Their mother still lives in Acapulco.

Isn't Aaron Sanchez also Mexican?


Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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I'm not sure, exactly, what you mean by "Nouvelle" Mexican. Do you mean just regional mid and upscale Mexican, like what you'd find mostly at Bayless's Frontera Grill or throughout most of Mexico in places like El Naranjo in Oaxaca? Or do you mean truly haute Mexican, cocina alta mexicana, that is often fusiony and creative in the same sense that New American places are creative, such as at Bayless's Topolobampo or Izote in Mexico City?

I don't have anything to add to the latter list, really, but do take a look here at reports on Lanny's in Ft. Worth. Chef Lancarte grew up in the kitchen of an iconic Mexican-American restaurant and now makes some of the most creative Mexican food in the country:

http://www.dallasfood.org/modules.php?name...e=article&sid=2

http://www.dallasfood.org/modules.php?name...e=article&sid=3

But if you are including the former, let me add three from here on the west coast:

Nuestra Cocina: Regional Mexican by Chef Benjamin Gonzales in Portland, Oregon.

La Calaca Comelona: Oaxacan food, primarily, in Portland, Oregon. Not sure about the name, but I know she's Mexican. Patricia something.

La Carta de Oaxaca: A little more casual, perhaps, but still high quality by the Dominguez family in Seattle, Washington. I don't know if they have a website, but here is some info:

http://www.tastingmenu.com/archive/2005/06-june/20050621.htm


Edited by ExtraMSG (log)

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Besides Peter, Alex and I, everyone else who worked in the kitchen was just a worker. These weren't cooks, they were just guys doing a job. They were all Domincan or Ecuadorian immigrants. None of them had worked in a kitchen before and they seemed happy just to have a job.

This is from The Seasoning of a Chef by Doug Psaltis with Michael Psaltis. This came to my attention because I thought it was an unfair put down of a restaurant started on a small budget by a chef with big ideas who was willing to start small, work in the kitchen and train an inexperienced staff. It was only after the second reading that I realized how gratuitous the mention of the ethnicity of the workers was. It's unnecessary, it doesn't add a thing, except to show the prejudices of a young white kid working in a New York restaurant kitchen. Worse yet, Doug Psaltis was working directly under executive chef Alex Urena, whose father was a reknowned butcher working with a number of New York's best restaurants and who himself was a second generation resdident.

Don't mean to be contrary but I didn't find the mentioning of ethnicity in SOAC anymore of a slur on the cooks then I found almost a whole chapter about the merits of Latin American cooks in either Kitchen Confidential or ACT.


2317/5000

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Don't mean to be contrary but I didn't find the mentioning of ethnicity in SOAC anymore of a slur on the cooks  then I found almost a whole chapter about the merits of Latin American cooks in either Kitchen Confidential or ACT.

I'm not clear on what you're saying. Are you saying there was some point to be made by citing the ethnicity of the workers? I don't get it. What's the point? if they "were just guys doing a job" why do we learn of their ethnicity? Would it matter if I went on to quote the author as saying "no one was there to learn?" Why should latino's be seen as less eager to learn on the job? What does ethnicity have to do with desire to learn and improve one's usefulness to an employer? Does the author want us to know that the kichen of a start up was not full of young eager CIA graduates? Why doesn't he say that? Would it be a surprise to learn that a start up low budget restaurant is not likely to attract stagiaires immediately. It certainly did after Doug left, but I wouldn't accuse his presence of being the factor that kept them away.

As for KC or ACT mentioning the merits of Latino cooks, I never find the mention of merit to be a slur.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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we're starting to drift away from the orginal intent of the thread in which Tony was looking for names of Mexican chefs and restaurants. Let's not drift too far please.


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Don't mean to be contrary but I didn't find the mentioning of ethnicity in SOAC anymore of a slur on the cooks  then I found almost a whole chapter about the merits of Latin American cooks in either Kitchen Confidential or ACT.

The difference, to my mind, is that the chapter in KC is really praising the Latin American cooks as being the oil that makes most restaurant kitchens in NYC run - he is putting them forward as being great cooks.

Whereas, to Psaltis, they are not cooks at all, simply "workers" who are "happy just to have a job".

When I read Psaltis' book last week, that part really did stand out to me as being a bit iffy....


Edited by VeryApe77 (log)

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Dudley Nieto, formerly with Adobo Grill, Chapulin, and San Gabriel Mexican Cafe in Chicago. Does a lot of consulting, so he's always on the move. He's worth tracking down. Great chef, great person.

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Forgot to mention Priscila Zatkoff, chef/owner of Salpicon in Chicago. Born and raised in Mexico, worked with Rick Bayless.

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Jackie Lau Roy's Corprate Executive Chef here in Hawaii fits the bill. A hui hou!

Lau is her married name.


Edited by oneidaone (log)

"You can't miss with a ham 'n' egger......"

Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004

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