Ricardo spent 14 years traveling Mexico's back roads and small
towns rescuing recipes and food lore and he uses all that knowledge to
create unbelievable food. Through his restaurants and writing he has
gained recognition for the incredible depth of the cuisine of Mexico.
What follows is my interview with Chef Ricardo.
How did you become interested in food and the restaurant business?
Food was always an important part of my life at home. I'm not sure which
came first, my passion about saving the traditional recipes and food
lore or if it was my travels through Mexico that ignited my passion.
Either way, the research that I compiled was the inspiration for me in
opening my first restaurant.
What is your earliest food memory?
Cooking tamales and pozole for the Day of the Dead celebration.
Do you have a favorite dish?
Mole Negro Oaxaqueno
Who were your mentors?
My mother and all the traditional cooks that I met in my travels through Mexico.
Do you have a philosophy on creating dishes for the restaurants?
We are inspired to create dishes based on traditional Mexican cuisine,
always keeping in mind what is local and seasonal. We respect the
seasons and create dishes that match what's available. The dishes we
serve in December are very different from the dishes we serve in July
and August. The food in all four of my restaurants is honest food
without flare and always at reasonable prices.
How did you pick the dishes for this year's Frontera staff dinner?
I wanted to make specialties of the season, which was why I included the
Caldo de 7 Hongos (Wild Mushroom Soup) and the Chiles en Nogada, which
are traditionally served during July and August. One thing that always
surprises me is the capacity of Rick's staff to appreciate my food and
their dedication to expand their knowledge by travelling to Mexico every
Check out the
web site for more information about Chef Ricardo and menus.