It’s pretty obvious what I do in Mexico – I shop for food, think about food, eat food, then cook food. I experiment with the chiles, fruits and seasonal vegetables I find in the market, then serve my experiments to friends and family, then do it again. But what, you may ask, does Richard do?
Well, at home in Vermont he has a whole bar to play with. He loves to make up new cocktails in between hours of researching wines, new craft beers and the amazing explosion of local distilleries, ciders, actually just about everything alcoholic in nature. So here, without the easy access to a full bar and the extensive connections with brewers, distillers and winemakers, what’s a poor beverage-hound to do?
Actually, he’s doing about the same thing he does at home, he just has to start from a much more elementary base – he’s like a newborn babe in a world of unfamiliar alcohol. Well, maybe not a babe…But he is learning a lot, very fast. For example, how to find a Gin worth drinking to make his recent creation, the Til Death Do Us Part – a delicious, refreshing cocktail Richard created for a lovely couple who’s wedding we catered this past fall. To keep the price down he needs a local, or inexpensive imported Gin. Mexican gin does not, as yet, have the best reputation, so what’s a boy to do? Also bitters. Can’t find ’em anywhere. Enter Amazon. Wait 6 weeks for delivery! Fresh grapefruit juice, or Mexican grapefruit soda(it’s actually really delicious!). Campari – actually can be found in the local Mega supermarket, and at a reasonable price. Ginger – not a problem, easily found at the Tuesday Market. And a slice of Jalapeno-OK, that’s a slam dunk.
We got very lucky last year when we met Francisco-not just because he’s a great guy, and his lovely wife Antonietta is a warm, funny, wonderful woman-but because Francisco and his partner make one of the best craft beers in Mexico: Dos Aves. So that’s one great connection, and we hope to do a Dos Aves beer matching dinner in Francisco and Antonietta’s gorgeous B & B-Antigua Capilla – very soon.
Mexican wines also are getting better every year, and somewhat more affordable. But meanwhile the great variety of reasonably priced Spanish and South American wines that pour into Mexico(no pun intended) are allowing Richard to match some very good, reasonably priced wines to our menus here in San Miguel.
And by the way, Richard is also great at doing laundry! Hasta Pronto!