This Saturday at Tacolandia, it's all about the taco, in both its traditional and experimental forms. The night before, however, will be all about a different, tortilla-free side of nuevo Mexican food when chef Ray Garcia hosts a dinner that brings together the best modern Mexican cuisine from both sides of the border.
Three of the world's top-rated Mexican chefs (who are all in town for Tacolandia) will collaborate with Garcia and L.A.'s fine-dining taquero Wes Avila (Guerrilla Tacos) on a six-course meal at Garcia's soon-to-be-open downtown restaurant Broken Spanish. The Mexican chefs are all included on San Pellegrino Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list and each has contributed greatly to their country's modern culinary movement, which eschews red sauce and lard-laden beans in favor of an elevated blend of international techniques and Mexican ingredients.
Guillermo Gonzalez owns Pangea in Monterrey, considered the first modern Mexican restaurant in the world; Solange Muris is from Manzanilla, the pioneering Ensenada restaurant she owns with her husband, chef Benito Molina; and Diego Hernandez is the man behind the farm-to-table tasting menus at Corazon de Tierra, located in the Baja wine region of Valle de Guadalupe.
Gonzalez and Molina are two of the creators of modern Mexican cuisine, while Hernandez is part of a new breed of forward-thinking chefs that have been trained entirely in Mexico. Together with Garcia and Avila — who are championing their own takes on the Mexican-American cookbook — the featured chefs represent the changing face of Mexican food in both countries.
"These men and women are the talent that is shaping the culinary landscape of Mexican cuisine in Mexico and the U.S.," Garcia says.
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With courses scheduled to walk diners through the evolution of modern Mexican from its beginnings to contemporary iterations, this Tacolandia kick-off dinner marks the first time all five of these renown chefs will be cooking together. Expect an unprecedented collaboration that makes the hefty $108 price tag worth it.
A Night of Modern Mexican Cuisine (presented by DeLeón Tequila and Broken Spanish chef Ray Garcia) at Broken Spanish, 1050 S. Flower St., downtown, Friday, June 5, 6 p.m.; $107.95, tickets available here.