About a month ago I was invited to the launch night of the fabulous new restaurant MEXIco, (I’ve not just made a slip of the finger with the whole caps, thats how they write it). I enjoyed the launch party so much I just had to write a post about it >find it here<. After chatting to the managing director and having a few tequila shots with her too, just your average first meeting with someone y’know, she emailed me with an invite to a personal food tasting session and Mexican food lesson with the head chef of MEXIco, loving cooking and getting great vibes off the launch party I obviously said yes!
First I want to talk a little bit about what I’ve learnt about Mexico and Mexican food and how the British have almost butchered it. If you disagree thats fine but when I say Mexican food what do you think of? I know before visiting MEXIco my view of Mexican food was tacos, fajitas and salsa dip, oh and nachos. This doesn’t seem like the widest range of food for one country does it? Thats because its not the only thing they do and it most certainly doesn’t come in a packet with Old el paso on the table. Mexican food should have layers of flavour and bursts of freshness. I’ve never been to Mexico but I learnt alot from Johnny. The Mexican community plan their events and even their daily routine around food, they love festivals and parties and general family gatherings where the food is the star of the show, I can totally relate to this as food for me is always my first priority. MEXIco has taken different ingredients and recipes from different villages all over Mexico to create some beautiful dishes for their restaurant.
Here’s Johnny! Sorry I couldn’t resist. He’s not just the head chef of MEXIco he’s the heart of it too, but like any well functioning body you need more then just the heart, more on that later. Johnny’s passion for Mexican food shone through as he introduced all the different recipes to me. He has had a love for food and cooking since the early age of five as his father owned a local restaurant. He went on to forfil this love and graduated form the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York. He’s worked all over America in some of the most exclusive restaurants, moving from Las Vegas to California to San Antonio. Following his love and passion he then opened his own restaurant and catering business which has lead him to become one of the worlds best regarded and award-winning Mexican chefs. Johnny spent over a year traveling all over Mexico visiting small villages and speaking to locals to find some of the best flavours and recipes to incorporate into his restaurants.
As I mentioned above it’s not just the heart that makes a functioning body, when visiting MEXIco you instantly get a fun and family vibe. All the staff from waiters and waitresses to chefs and managers work together to deliver an all round great service. Theres nothing worse then going to a restaurant that is full of waiters and waitresses that just don’t want to be there, don’t work well with each other and just generally create the wrong impression of the restaurant. MEXIco is NOT one of these restaurants. All the staff look as if they want to be there and most importantly look as if they enjoy their job. All of these things I believe contribute to a brilliant restaurant.
You can’t have a restaurant without great tasting food of course. The menu MEXIco provide is a range of traditional Mexican food, from small light bites that you can snack on at the bar if when find yourself going out for drinks but like most of us end up ravenous, to main meals full of flavour and made with fresh ingredients that will leave you feeling super satisfied. There are some amazing dishes on the menu, the pulled chicken tinga is defiantly one you HAVE to try along with the blue corn tortillas, oh and not forgetting their delicious salsa and guacamole, oh and…. actually just go and try it all!! I can’t wait to go back and try more of their menu.
Ta-ra for now