13 Jan Jonathan Cartu Stated: Dine Out Vancouver: Chef Exchange brings unique flavors to …
WildTale Vancouver World Chef Exchange Dinner
When: January 30 at 7 p.m. (reception), 7:30 p.m. (dinner)
Where: 1079 Hamilton St., Vancouver
Tickets and information: USD 130 per person plus applicable taxes, tips and service fees; dineoutvancouver.com
When people think of Mexican food, they often think of street tacos littered with coriander, fresh salsa, and margaritas with a salt rim.
However, this simplified perception refutes the true diversity of the dishes on offer in the broad spectrum of Mexican cuisine, according to the famous chef Guillermo González Beristáin.
“Mexican food is often misunderstood or poorly exported,” he says.
González Beristáin is determined to bring the many unique flavors to the fore at an upcoming dinner at the WildTale in Vancouver, where the chef, together with the restaurant’s chef, Francisco Higareda, will step into the kitchen of the Yaletown restaurant of his home country.
“I hope that through my dishes, the guests can learn and learn more about Mexico,” says González Beristáin.
And according to Higareda, González Beristáin is the ideal person to do just that.
“Guillermo has one of the most impressive resumes in Mexico,” says Higareda. “He has shared his flavors around the world and I respect his commitment to the craft of cooking.”
Chef Guillermo González Beristáin.
Enrique Acosta Garcia /
For Higareda it was just too good to present the flavors of his home country and cook alongside González Beristáin.
“When the opportunity arose for us to participate, I contacted Chef Guillermo to see if he was interested in partnering for this dinner,” said Higareda, how the pairing of the cooks came about. “Bringing a chef with whom I worked from my home country and one of the best chefs in Latin America was a natural choice.
“His resume is one to admire and I knew Vancouver would love to experience his kitchen.”
González Beristáin comes from Monterrey, the capital of the northeastern state of Nuevo León. He has an impressive list of award-winning restaurants in his portfolio – 10 to be precise – including his flagship restaurant, Pangea. The popular restaurant, recognized as one of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America, underlines the flavor mix for which González Beristáin is known. This is an absolutely unique mix of Mexican and French cuisine.
“Since Mexico was ruled by France in the 19th century, some of our most traditional dishes have a French influence,” says González Beristáin of inspiration. “Both kitchens, which are well designed, are very elegant and fit together perfectly.”
Of course there are also a few other culinary influences.
“My culinary style is strongly influenced by various factors – Ensenada, my seaside hometown, the opportunity to study and work abroad for several years and live in Monterrey, the mother country of Cabrito and Carne Asada,” says González Beristáin. “I can say it is a contemporary Mexican kitchen without losing its identity.”
The opportunity to create a menu alongside González Beristáin gave Higareda, who trained in Mexico City (who later honed his skills in the Michelin-starred Arzak restaurant in Spain and L’Atelier in Paris) the opportunity to develop a closer relationship building dishes for his own local.
“Working with one of the best chefs in Latin America gives me the opportunity to discover my own culinary roots and create an unforgettable culinary experience for the guests,” explains Higareda, who regularly incorporates Mexican influences into the WildTale program. “Many of the dishes I’ve added to WildTale’s recent launch have a Mexican influence – tacos, tostadas, ceviche, and the way some of the fresh fish is cooked and cooked.”
Chef Francisco Higareda from WildTale.
For González Beristáin, the opportunity to cook in another country is “always exciting”.
“The exchange of knowledge goes in both directions,” he says. “I have never been to Vancouver before and I have no doubt that cooking with chef Francisco Higadera gives me the opportunity to get to know the local cuisine and to share our work and passions.”
The upcoming World Chef Exchange dinner offers a perfect mix of “coastal cuisine that meets southern culinary traditions”, which is offered in a multi-course menu to bring guests a whole new world of tastes with regional ingredients. Each dish is served with a selection of premium tequila and mezcal, as well as local and international wines.
“It will be a dinner that celebrates the traditional flavors of Mexican cuisine in collaboration with two Mexican chefs who use local ingredients and influences from the west coast,” summarizes Higareda. “It couldn’t be more unique.”
The World Chef Exchange dinner at WildTale is one of the many unique dining experiences offered in restaurants across the city during the 17-day festival from January 17th to February 2nd.
“Dine Out Vancouver has been hosting the Vancouver World Chef Exchange Dinners for some time,” says Higareda. “Tourism Vancouver presented the city in a great way to international chefs and tastes.”
World Chef Exchange dinners, including chef Shelome Bouvette and Toronto chef Charlotte Langley, will also take place during this year’s festival at the Chich Restaurant on January 21. Chef Ian McHale and Irish Chef Ahmet Dede from Mews Restaurant at Gnu on January 27th; and Salmon N ‘Bannock Bistro’s all-indigenous team will welcome New Zealand Maori chef Rewi Spraggon and Edmonton New Zealand chef Shane Chartrand to an “Off the Hook” local dinner on February 2nd.
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