Weekend Brunch

Weekend Brunch

Fried eggs with green salsa and avocado Without any doubt, my favourite meal is the weekend brunch. And I have tried all kinds, from the beautiful “Eggs Hollandaise”, to some nice “Dahl” and Chai tea courtesy of the Indian army. But the origin of this infatuation is for sure back home in Mexico City. When I was a child my mom used to make the most amazing weekend brunches, prepared some “Huevos Rancheros” with fresh red or green salsa. Sometimes she would make “Molletes” with bread that my dad used to buy from our local bakery. Or we would just simply wait for the bicycle man to pass by and fetch some nice “tamales”, the most popular ones being with chicken and green salsa called “verdes”, or a sweet version with strawberry called “dulce”. In general, Mexicans enjoy having weekend brunches, sometimes so late, that most restaurants keep their breakfast menu up to 1 o’clock in the afternoon. The main ingredient is usually eggs, and they would invent their own variations of salsa, and accompany them with beans, fresh white corn tortillas and fresh cheese. Some other versions of weekend brunch are the blue corn foodies like “Quesadillas”, “Tlacoyos” and “Gorditas”, or the very traditional “barbacoa” which nowadays is mostly made with New Zealander lamb in the traditional underground oven covered in maguey leaves that in Mexico is known as “Barbacoa de hoyo”. “Pancita” and “Birria” are two hot and full of flavour consommés, which tend to be the perfect hangover food on Sundays. It is all spicy and all fresh, just like Mexicans want it. There are of...
State of Origin

State of Origin

Next week, the best National Rugby League (NRL) players from New South Wales and Queensland will face each other in the first of three annual games to prove which state has the most powerful team. There is lots of news coverage and many people are preparing to attend the game either live, at some bar or home with some close friends. Thinking about the game, besides figuring what kind of food I will serve that night (or maybe persuade Mr. Richard to go to a bar and spare the pain), it came to my attention that this cup’s name also makes me think about my own Mexican state of origin: Distrito Federal (DF). DF as a cultural, political and economic centre Mexico City lies in the Federal District or DF, something similar to what Canberra is for A.C.T. After the Mexican revolution finished around the 1920’s, my city started an incredibly fast population and economic growth. Its great development was many times contrasted to the lack of such in other country’s provinces, which led to a bit of jealousy. By the time I was born at the beginning of the 1980’s DF was a cultural, financial and economic centre, contrasted by a large food and water dependency on the rest of the country. It made us DF citizens a bit undesirable for the other states and they criticised our food dependency and the constant rush of the city by alleging our city had nothing original to offer to Mexico’s rich gastronomy. When you visit places such as Yucatan, Oaxaca or Puebla, along with many other destinations, you discover Mexico’s...
The Milpa

The Milpa

Many of you may have heard this word, ‘Milpa’ It is the Mexican model for agriculture that is reflected in our cuisine, habits, festivities and culture in general. The other day I attended a conference chaired by MaS. Cristina Barros about this important part of our lives as Mexicans and how this model is currently threatened by massive monocropping agricultural models. When I was a child, I used to go to the Anthropology Museum in which they had an exhibition of the evolution of corn in Mexico and how our ancestors with their local knowledge of biotechnology, managed to create different kinds of corn that would satisfy their needs. This created a revolution in how we understand the world and how we interact with it. Environmentally Friendly The Milpa not only grows corn, but also many other products like beans, pumpkin, chili and herbs like epazote among more than sixty five other crops that form the basis of our daily intake. The crop medley allows the earth to keep its nutrients and for crops to help each other’s growth. It also allows farmers to have access to food during the whole agricultural cycle and eventually use the remainder as fertiliser. This makes it one of the most sustainable agricultural models on earth. But this model is not just good for the environment. Socially speaking, it grants farmers autonomy and self-sufficiency, allowing them to maintain their traditions and culture by staying in the country instead of needing to find jobs in our neighbouring countries. Farmers also continue the ancestral tradition of biotechnology, by changing and adapting the plants to climate change....
El Pilon

El Pilon

Ever since I can remember I used to look forward to accompanying my mom and my grandmother to the market. The colours, smells and flavours there, are one of my most regarded memories. Markets in Mexico are a big “fiesta” of people offering their products with a lot of humour and with a very personal treatment. The Marchante Usually, people always go to the same stall and become acquainted with special fruit, veggies, meat, fish and chicken suppliers, to whom we call “marchantes”. The “marchante” word comes from the French word “marché” which means market. Your marchante is the person you choose because has the best quality products and the right price for your pocket. Marchantes like to keep a faithful clientele and they will usually offer you a “pilón” in exchange for your loyalty. The pilón is that something extra that you will receive with a transaction whether is fruit, veggie, candy or a chicken piece, depending on what you’re buying. Despite supermarkets taking over this market spectrum by offering extra cheap prices and other household and electronics products, traditional markets are still standing strong in the good old friendly Mexican way of life. I think one of the main factors can be this loyalty relationship, which is just amazingly solid. A loyalty tie  When I was living in Mexico City, after living for 21 years in the south part of it, my family decided to move to the north and consequently we had to allocate our grocery shopping closer to our new home. However, our heart stayed at the Portales market in the south side of the city as it...
From Paris to Sydney Via Mexico

From Paris to Sydney Via Mexico

It all started with Porfirio Former Mexican dictator, and war hero Porfirio Diaz was one of the persons that had a big influence in the way Mexico City looks nowadays. His love for France gave the city some of the most beautiful buildings and avenues. He developed the country’s infrastructure towards the beginning of the 20th Century, but he forgot to make sure it benefited most Mexicans. With this in mind Bildo and Regina, the owners of Mr Moustache decided to open a restaurant that would reflect what having a night out and having fun in Mexico City means. It is driving through great French style avenues, visiting beautiful “Art deco” buildings and eating at amazing restaurants, having long-hour gatherings with friends and family that prolong from lunch to dinner and at the end of the day you’ll have a final stop at the taco stand made out of plastic sheets and rusty metal, that steals electricity and obstructs the pathways, only because that taco or quesadilla is just as good as the food at the 4 star restaurant you just left. Mr Moustache’s decoration is French/taco stall inspired, and its menu has a Mexico’s street food taste with a twist. But perhaps the food, as great as it is, seems to be an excuse to what Regina and Bildo find to be their “revolution” into Sydney’s culinary scene: a mezcal bar. Sydney’s Mezcal Revolution Mezcal is a Mexican alcoholic beverage produced from the cooking and fermentation of agave pineapples. Its designation of origin specifies it must be produced within 8 designated states in Mexico: Durango, Guerrero, Oaxaca, San Luis...