notes from the mexican kitchen

XOCO: The Endless Summer

For our annual staff trip to Mexico, we began in the Yucatan’s largest city, Merida, and journeyed out into the surrounding wilderness for authentic Mayan cuisine: earthy, charred flavors, with brightness and heat, essentially unchanged for many hundreds of years. Every summer at Xoco, we do the Mayans proud with our Poc Chuc Torta (translation: […]

Mexican Weekend/

This Is What to Do with That Farmers’ Market Fruit


OK, OK, while it’s true that I’m prone to occasional hyperbole, this espuma really is one of the most delicious concoctions on the planet. Owing its origins to Italian zabaglione (or French sabayon), this espuma uses tequila and lime to replace wine as you whisk egg yolks and sugar to a luscious froth over simmering […]

Mexican Weekend/

The Pork Carnitas Recipe You’ll Treasure Forever


When it comes to carnitas, let’s assume you don’t have the time or energy to heat a huge cauldron of pork lard and cook a cut-up pig. Instead, you might head to a restaurant that’s known for carnitas and buy some to bring home. But this near-effortless version of the classic Mexican preparation allows you to […]


ModMex Tickets are On Sale Now!


As a kickoff for the uber-successful Chicago Gourmet festival, world-class chefs and mixologists will once again descend on Chicago for the third annual ModMex-ModMix, our two-day food conference filled with tastings, expert mixology and one very special dinner. And you can be there to experience all of it. Saturday’s conference, dubbed “Mod Mex & Mod Mix: […]

Mexican Weekend/

Put the Lime in the Coconut (Ice Pops)


One of Chicago’s most iconic sounds rises from the pushcart paleta vendors jingling their bells around public parks, reminding both young and old the imminent possibilities of cold refreshment—mostly sweet, but sometimes a little savory, too, and spicy. Out of all those flavors, one of my favorites is coconut, a creamy cold treat that always […]