notes from the mexican kitchen
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XOCO: Fall into Flavor

As a young man, working with then-partner Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon wrote, “And the leaves that are green turn to brown, and they wither in the wind, and they crumble in your hand.”  To the chagrin of us leafpeepers, he jumped right over the best part where the leaves that are green turn blazing yellow, orange […]

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Topolo in the Fall: Crispy pork jowl and a pumpkinseed tamal

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Topolo’s new menu items incorporate a little bit of the past, a little bit of the future. The Pre-Columbian Tamal? That’s the past. This dish—developed for ModMex—was built using pre-Columbian restrictions, so the fat comes from pumpkinseeds, not lard. But that’s not to say there’s no pork on this menu. Please click through the slideshow above until […]

It's the season/

Red poblanos are here; cook ‘em while you can.

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                  It takes a while for poblanos to turn red—you have to keep them on the vine and resist picking them when they’re green. But when the red ones show up, watch out: Here at Frontera we go a little crazy with them, in the restaurants, in […]

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Mexican Tradition, Midwestern Bounty at XOCO

The Xoco chefs delivered deliciousness beyond my expectations on their  latest seasonal menu: Mexican Tradition, Midwestern Bounty.  The theme this month is closely related to the work we do all year at Xoco:  the magical act of honoring the deep traditions of Mexican cooking while allowing nontraditional native Midwest ingredients to shine.  Here, at the end of […]

ModMex/

Liveblogging ModMex 2014

9:35am Good morning from Kendall College, where the second annual ModMex conference has just kicked off with coffee, granola—and a passion fruit-tequila-chamomile cocktail. We’ve got some amazing chefs who have flown in from New York and Mexico City for this event (and a few that have walked over from Chicago’s Randolph Street), and together with Rick […]