You guys, Mexico City likes us SO MUCH. The Mexico City Tourism Trust has even signed a bilateral agreement with the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote cross-tourism. It's like we're officially going steady.
Actually, if we were grown-ups, (and aren't we?), I'd say, look, they want to talk about a long-term relationship. But with any relationship, we must start with a date, and a date usually involves a meal.
Well, voila!: Sabores CDMX (Flavors of Mexico City) is facilitating the courtship of these two fair cities with emerging chefs flown in from Mexico to woo Houstonians with exotic food. This weekend, before the Fourth takes us all into its patriotic barbecue-and-fireworks grip, you can sample authentic Mexican menu items prepared by talented Mexico City chefs working alongside some of our city's culinary giants.
Café Annie, Picos and Américas will play host on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings (June 30 - July 2).
- Café Annie's legendary chef Robert Del Grande will be preparing dinner with chef Victor Cabrera;
- At Picos, third-generation chef Arnaldo Richards will welcome chef Israel Montero to the Mexican mainstay's kitchen
- Beloved chef David Cordua will be whipping up plates with chefs Daniel Ovadía and Salvador Orozco at Américas.
Mexico has more than 450 flights a week from 25 different cities that arrive in either of Houston's airports, making Houston a popular destination for our friends from the south, as anyone who's spent time in The Galleria knows. About 1.5 million visitors from Mexico visit Houston annually.
"It's a natural gateway for both cities," says Mauricio Gonzalez, president of Connect Worldwide Mexico, who was at the kickoff party for the three-day event. On the 25th-floor pool deck at the new SkyHouse River Oaks, the visiting chefs mingled with guests over spicy tacos and fresh ceviche, courtesy of Picos.
By the pool and overlooking River Oaks, colorful cocktails spiked with La Niña Primario Mezcal and Fortalez Tequila were served by Picos beverage director Monica Richards and bartenders Lainey Collum from Arthur Ave. and Judith Ann Piotrowsky from Zimms.
Enjoying the kickoff party were Michele Aviño, Cuchara’s Ana Beaven, Taylor Byrne-Dodge, Treadsack’s Chris Cusack, Barbara Davis, Katherine Giuffre, Alecia Harris, Leslie Hassen, Connect Worldwide Mexico’s Mauricio Gonzalez Liceaga, Matt Johns, Raj Natarajan, Lauren Parsons, Stuart Rosenberg, Miya Shay and Matt Vandever.
If you missed that shindig, don't fret. You can give yourself a taste of Mexico City's cutting-edge cuisine from fresh faces in their culinary circle before you dive headlong into the meaty cornerstones of American gastronomy on Monday for Independence Day.