Daydreaming about Guerrero

My friends at the Mexico Tourism Board office here in Chicago posted this tourism video about Guerrero on their Facebook page yesterday and it had me totally captivated! They’ve been doing a state-by-state campaign (in alphabetical order) to share highlights that different states have to offer and I’ve really been enjoying each week since they started. I’m learning tons of new things about some of the states I’ve never been to as well as some of the states I have visited, but not extensively. It’s also planted a seed about starting a list of all the places I really want to visit in the next few years. I’ve been daydreaming about visiting the Pacific-side state of Guerrero since I watched the video, though, and thought I’d share with you.

The good thing: I have a trip planned to visit the state of Guerrero for a friend’s wedding in Acapulco later in the year. The bad thing: The trip is still several months away. (Insert sad face here.)

But until then when I can share photos and video of my own experience visiting Guerrero, here’s a little something to whet your appetite…

¡Feliz fin de semana!

YouTube Preview Image… 

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Mexique: Celebrating Mexican Cuisine with a French Twist

A few weeks ago I attended a dinner given by the Mexico Tourism Board and Chef Carlos Gaytan at his restaurant, Mexique, in honor of the recent UNESCO designation of Mexican cuisine as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Tourism Board over the last several weeks has hosted authentic Mexican dinners in a number of major North American cities to celebrate, including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Miami, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, so I was thrilled to receive the invitation.

Did you know that French recipes and cooking techniques during the French occupation of Mexico in the 1860s became an important element in the evolution of modern Mexican gastronomy?

Gaytan’s concept behind Mexique is modern Mexican food with French influence. Hailing from Huitzuco, Guerrero, Gaytan’s love of food helped him rise from pantry cook to executive chef. He trained with French chef Dominique Tougne of Bistro 110 (Gold Coast) and has also spent time in the kitchens at Bistrot Margo (Old Town) and the Union League Club (Loop), all in Chicago. If you live in Chicago or are visiting, I highly recommend you visit Mexique for a meal.

One thing that left an impression on me at the dinner was when Carlos explained why he doesn’t serve mixed drinks in his restaurant: they take away from the palate and so instead, he serves wine and tequila. And God bless him for telling everyone in the dining room that tequila should be sipped. Someone at a table near me chimed in that “only heathens drink tequila shooters,” which caused an eruption of laughter at my table.

And I can’t end without showing you what we ate. It was a lovely four-course tasting meal with excellent wines and ended with tequila. I can’t wait to return to Mexique for another meal!

PRIMERO: Ceviche

Ahi tuna, avocado mousse, chipotle aioli, mango habanero galette… 

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Wordless Wednesday: Nochebuenas

This past weekend I saw the first Nochebuenas of the holiday season! Did you know that Poinsettia flowers originally came from Mexico? Just a few hours outside of Mexico City, the first poinsettias were discovered in the valleys of Taxco and Cuernavaca but it wasn’t until after the Spanish conquest that they were incorporated as a symbol of the Christmas season thanks to the Franciscan priests. The flower was popularized in the United States after it was brought here by Joel Poinsett, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico after the country won its independence from Spain.

  • Does your family use Nochebuenas to decorate during the holidays?
The photo in this post was taken with my iPhone 3Gs using the Polarize app by Christopher Comair.
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