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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Slice of Mexico

Helmed by chefs Narciso Alcazar and Guadalupe Monterroza,the Mexican food festival at the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel makes for an exquisite experience

Written by AMRUTA LAKHE | Mumbai | Published: June 27, 2013 5:13:10 am

Colourful flags of Mexico,bright sombreros and statues of rodeo horses lined the entrance of the Lake View Cafe at the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel,located in Mumbai’s suburb of Powai. Chefs Narciso Alcazar and Guadalupe Monterroza,between their cooking sessions,were seen explaining the taste and ingredients to the guests. Here to present their country’s cuisine as part of a Mexican food festival that will be on till July 3,the chefs left no stone unturned in their efforts to excite Indian taste buds.

The meal began with eight types of salads — vegetarian and non-vegetarian — served along with delicious chicken sausage soup and clear vegetarian soup. There were four live counters that allowed the guests to choose their own sauces and flavours — quesadillas with fresh cheese and beans,lamb and beef empanadas,nachos with chilli jalapeno sauce,and tacos. At the corner was a mini bar that served tequila,strongly recommended by the chefs as a good accompaniment to Mexican food.

For the main course,the spread offered Pirna de Cordero with chipotle sauce (lamb); Pescedo Sarandiodo (red snappers in mayonnaise chilli sauce); Pollo tres chiles (three chicken chilli sauce); Arroz con frijoles (rice and beans) and Lebilla Azada (baked onion); and Calabacitas entonatatas (zuccini with tomatoes),in addition to a smattering of Indian items such as paneer,dal,chicken and rice.

The desserts section had an interesting variety too,from berry strusel tart to caramelised apple frangipani tart and creamy caramel Mexican flan.

Given that it is their first time in India,both the chefs seemed excited. “We got all the ingredients,including the spices and chillies,from Cancun,the south-eastern city of Mexico. That said,we are impressed with Indian spices too as we can now experiment by using them in our recipes,” said Monterroza. Since Indians usually don’t favour beef and pork,the challenge for Alcazar lay in working around most of their original dishes using chicken as a substitute.

“We want Indians to taste real Mexican food and not just the usual tacos and nachos. Accordingly,we will prepare an entirely different menu everyday,” he said,stressing on the need for experimentation. Interestingly,the Mexican menu doesn’t include burritos. “We wanted to skip the usual recipes and create dishes that were authentic and different. The idea is to make people eat something that you haven’t had before,” said Monterroza. All in all,this was one scrumptious Mexican fiesta.

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