It was an absolute pleasure to work with Snake Oil Cocktail Company to present the celebration of Mexican Independence for el Consulado General de Mexico en San Diego at the San Diego Symphony. This party was gorgeous.
Client: Consulado General de México en San Diego
Event: Aniversario de la Independencia de México
Venue: Jacobs Music Center
The menu: inspiring and a joy to create.
Snake Oil's cocktails: creative and amazing.
My kitchen staff: a perfect machine.
When Saul at Snake Oil asked me to partner with them for this event, I didn't flinch at the very traditional Mexican dishes. When I think of the geographical regions that I could live in and their distinct localized cuisine, I'm completely at home here in San Diego with the strong current of Mexican and specifically Baja traditions. There is a Mediterranean sensibility- fresh, clean, and bright flavors- that works for my approach to building up a dish. I've learned to draw on what's around me, cooking with neighbors, friends, other chefs.
The chile pastes and pepper sauces that I use as bases for everything I've made so many times that they're memorized and intuitive now.
And there's one more reason I was ready for this one: the ace in my sleeve, the person I depend on most on a daily basis and spend the longest days with- my cook, Noemi. "Mimi" is a third generation cook from Tijuana. She was raised working in her grandmothers restaurant in TJ and has cooked all her life. She's tough and funny and won't leave the kitchen until I do. On this one, we had a chance to let her shine, with her perfectly tender tamales de rajas...
Tamalitos de Rajas con Poblanos y Queso con Salsa Tomatillo
Empanadas de Picadillo con Crema Poblana
Sopitos de Pollo con Frijol, Queso Anejo y Crema Natural
Albondigas de Res con Arroz, Cilantro, Cebolla y Hierbabuena en Salsa Chipotle