Thursday, September 2, 2010

Short commentary on the state of Mexican cuisine in the States

Check out this note in the SFWeekly:

Come on, attention now. The only other thing I can add to this is that Bayless acts as if his restaurant (yes, I've been to both Frontera Grill and Topolobampo) is solely responsible for the popularity and quality of Mexican food in Chicago...but, in the event that you haven't left your house or had any outside contact aside from your cats in like...a hundred years...there are so many Mexicans in Chicagoland. I assure you one or two of us know something about making a complex and fragrant mole, a pambazo, a killer taco and all the fresh salsas you could dream stuff Rick Bayless may have written about, but most definitely doesn't serve at his, ahem, up market venues. And I want to say, with the utmost pride, my roommate makes the best margaritas outside of Mexico.
I want to caveat that I enjoyed my experiences with Bayless' restaurants, and that his collection of work is incredibly useful, informative, accurate and generally procures delicious results. Bayless and Diana Kennedy have been seminal in compiling and promoting a body of knowledge regarding Mexican cuisine to the North American public, but I have to consider why it is that such a fascinating and varied cuisine has only become acceptable as such through the interest of white chefs. I assure you, in Mexico City they have known that Mexican food is haute cuisine for a long, long time. I can recommend a few places if you want to fact check that, both time tested classic locales and newer, modern gastronomic ventures. Plus some great Korean food...but that is another post.

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