What happens when Mexican Rice meets Indian Pulao, Mole meets Curry, Salsa meets Tomato Chutney and Gorditas meets Parathas – You travel on a delicious culinary journey where you see a wealth of knowledge presented through diverse cuisine – concocted by an expat with a love for creating authentic local cuisine that grabs the attention of those who taste it. And Mexican chef Colibrí Jiménez does the exact same thing. Mexican foodie ambassador Chef Jiménez recently curated a bold and experiential six-course menu paired with some fine drinks at W Goa in conjunction with World on a Plate.
The exclusive dining experience at the hotel’s restaurant, Sylvia, was a day-to-day affair with Chef Jiménez’ love of promoting Mexican cuisine around the world. “What excites me are the different flavors and ingredients in Mexican cuisine. It’s complex but it’s interesting because you never stop learning and researching all the different flavors that Mexico has given to the world. world,” says Chef Jiménez, who has in the past collaborated with several high-end diners for a culinary exchange in India.
“But this is my first visit to Goa and I wanted guests to savor the bold flavors of Mexico. It is always an honor for me to bring authentic ingredients from my country and share them with love through recipes and culinary techniques. My experience has been incredible,” says the chef, who travels the world to promote Mexican cuisine through master classes, workshops and collaborating in culinary events.
The chef concocted authentic Mexican dishes including Espesado de Frijol Negro, Hoja de Avocado, Epazote, Juliennes de Tortilla, a black bean broth soup with avocado leaf, epazote and julienne fried tortilla, Arroz Costeño y su Socarrat , Lemon Aioli, Sofrito de Calamar, Camarón y Almeja, a rustic Mexican style rice and its socarrat made with lime aioli, sofrito of calamari, prawns and clams, Taco de Jicama, Guacamole, Vinaigrette de Jamaica and Petit Fours made with tequila chocolates, basil mint habanero ash white chocolate candies and Puerquitos de Pilloncillo.
Growing up in Mexico City with her grandmother, Jiménez learned the art of cooking at a very young age when the former taught her the nuances of Mexican cuisine. “My first job as a teenager was to cook at the age of 13. Since then, I have always loved being creative and innovating in the culinary world”, explains the chef and shares that being a female chef in the world cooking is not easy.
“It’s difficult. It’s much more difficult to be taken seriously as a female leader, especially in countries that still have a macho culture. Still, I believe my work speaks for itself and I I was honored to have the opportunity to share it in many countries”, says the author of a book, “Una Aventura Gastronomica”, which presents stories and photographs of his trip to Mexico and its more remote corners.
While Jiménez enjoys cooking traditional dishes in the most authentic way, she agrees that food is evolving and her cuisine is reinventing itself through new techniques. “My cuisine continues to evolve using the freshest ingredients and transforming them through new techniques, keeping ethics and sustainability as part of every innovation,” she says and adds that Mexican cuisine presents many similarities with Indian cuisine. “I think cuisines and cultures are very similar, so it’s easy to create plates that go well with both cultures,” she adds.
Classic Vs Fusion Recipes, we ask her to get into mixing cuisine which she says the classics will always be the classics, “but fusion is so interesting and daring to try. However, you have to be careful not to go beyond the fusion side, otherwise your work will not be understood and appreciated,” says the Chef.
As the world focuses more on sustainable practices to eradicate climate change, culinary experts are also emphasizing the concept of zero waste in food. The chef says this is possible through creativity and using every ingredient as much as possible. “There are a lot of parts of certain ingredients that aren’t used or considered that should be incorporated into the creation of plates. One can look at techniques such as fermentation, non-use of plastic and compost,” she suggests and says she has been bold in being creative, bold in breaking old paradigms while following a zero approach waste in his kitchen.
Asked what changes she would like to see in the next five years, the chef hopes to bring communities together by nurturing satiating foods away from fine dining. “Plates should be bigger and more accessible options should emerge,” she says.
A quick one-on-one
Do you do Indian food?
Yes, I love experimenting with Indian condiments and combining them with Mexican techniques.
What do you like the most in Indian cuisine?
Its complexity and variety
What is your favorite dish to cook and eat?
I like fresh and lively food. I always include seafood in my menus!
What is a common mistake people make while cooking?
Being afraid of being creative and not getting the desired result. I would say don’t be afraid, do it and try, that’s how you learn.
Some lesser known facts about Mexican food?
– Mexican cuisine is the result of 3 cultures: the ancient pre-Hispanic, the Spanish with the colony and the oriental spices that came with Spain
– Tex Mex is not real Mexican food
– We never eat nachos
– The main ingredients of our kitchen are: corn, beans and pumpkins
– We eat insects
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