Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Dallas: Modern Mexican | Tacos of Texas Ep. 6

Dallas: Modern Mexican | Tacos of Texas Ep. 6


– Taco tip #214: When critiquing a
taco masterpiece… – [Mando] Always consider the
holy trinity. Number one: – [Jarod] Are the
tortillas fresh? Number two: – [Mando] Are los
fillings hecho con amor? – Number three: – [Jarod] And is
the salsa spicy? (Cumbia music) – I’m Jarod Neece. – I’m Mando Rayo. – We’re taco journalists
exploring the iconic tacos of Texas through the eyes
of the people who make them. – We’re in Dallas, Texas. – Big D. – [Mando] Home of
the Dallas Cowboys. – [Jarod] Birthplace of the
frozen margaritas machine, and big hair. – Don’t care. We’re going to visit
with Revolver Taco
Lounge, Cedars Social and Trompo and get a
taste for modern Mexican. – [Jarod] We’re at The Cedars
Social in the South side of Dallas. Where every
taco is a work of art. – My name is Anastacia
Quiñones, I’m the executive chef at The Cedars Social
in Dallas, Texas. I think we’re creating a buzz
right now with the dishes that we’re creating
because it’s something that people haven’t really seen. So for example, we are
making flavored masas and that’s taking the
traditional tortilla and adding a flavor component
for example a carrot habanero tortilla with a fried fish
taco or a cilantro poblano with a pork belly. – [Jarod] I’d say, it almost
looks too good to eat. Almost. – No, I will eat that. – It’s definitely not. – [Mando] That’s the difference
between traditional street tacos to this
whole modern approach. It’s like visually, it’s
just stunning. Right? So you definitely want to
like, oh I want to taste every little piece of it. – [Anastacia] We start
with the flavored tortilla and then a protein. And
then just kind of layers. So it could something sweet,
salty, acidic, crunchy, spicy and that will that’s gonna
be really hot though. – It’s a habanero. – Oh okay. Alright
that works. Yeah. – That’s how I do. – Okay, alright. (laughter) – Would this be
considered modern Mexican? – I mean I guess it’s modern,
it’s all typical ingredients its just how you choose
your flavor profiles to come together. Because
I was kind of classically French trained– – And what does that
mean, classically trained? – I went to
the CIA New York Hyde Park, and I worked at some of
the best restaurants. I worked at Jarnidiere in
San Francisco and kind of
worked my way up. Came back to Dallas and wanted
to really embrace the food culture here and there
wasn’t really a lot of it. So, I took my background and
what I was kind of taught and took traditional Mexican
dishes and just elevated it a little bit.
Either added a twist or added a secret ingredient,
or a changed the plating up of it. I mean its a
humbling experience to go from making $300 tasting
menus to making a $9 entree. It was very humbling,
but I had to– I knew that it was something
that I needed to do to be able to help Mexican
food shine in a Tex-Mex region. (musica folklorica) ♪ Yo tenia mi cascabel
con una cinta morada, ♪ ♪ con una cinta morada
yo tenia mi cascabel. ♪ ♪ Yo tenia mi cascabel
con una cinta morada, ♪ ♪ con una cinta morada
yo tenia mi cascabel. ♪ – [Jarod] And now we’re at
Trompo just outside of Oak Cliff in the West side of Dallas. – [Mando] And we’re going
to continue to explore the new Americano style and see
what all the buzz is about. – My name is Luis Olvera. I own
Trompo out of Dallas, Texas. (chip crunch) – [Luis] Trompo is the Regio sty
or the Northern Mexican region style of taco al pastor. I tinkered with my
recipe for months. You know, I didn’t
let anybody taste it. I toyed with different
toppings and different things and I came to this. Tres trompo? – [Mando] Yeah and a gringa. – Una gringa? – A lot of people may think
of some certain stereotypes when they here about Dallas,
like what is your Dallas? – Me. – [Luis] You know, it’s
eclectic, it’s diverse. Big hair, the oil barons, the Dallas site. I’m sure it exists, but in
my world, it’s beautiful. Our world is so much bigger now. I have so many more experiences. I have so much more that I
can play with in my kitchen, because people are
open to work with each to learn from each other. You
see it over and over again. And you seeing a lot more
younger chefs that are coming together, working
together and that is key. You know, there are
so many of us that whether we are
classically trained or whether we were trained
through the kitchen or through our family, we
are able to come together. And we’re able to say,
oh this is what I take from my experience, what do
you take from your experience? Lets collab, lets do
popups, lets work together, lets do this, lets do that.
So, I think Dallas scene and modern cuisine especially
modern Mexican, it goes hand in hand. – [Mando] One, two,
three, four, five. It was great to catch up with
Luis and see how far he’s come from backyard speakeasy
to Bon Appetit. – Where his minimalist style
and unmatched attention to detail keeps him at the
top of Dallas’ taco game. (mariachi song) ♪ Ay, sandunga. Sandunga
mama por dios. ♪ ♪ Sandunga no seas ingrata
mama de mi corazon. ♪ – [Mando] We’re here deep
in the heart of Ellum. – [Jarod] There’s breweries,
popup shops, people everywhere and Revolver Taco Lounge. – We’re gonna talk to the
man behind the octopus taco. – [Regino] My name
is Regino Rojas from Yurecuaro, Michoacan
and I’m proprietario de Revolver Taco Lounge in
the fabulous neighborhood of Deep Ellum. – [Jarod] So Gino thanks
for inviting us here to your restaurant. – No, I didn’t invite you
guys. You guys just came, but it’s fantastic
I love you guys. (laughter) – [Jarod] So you’re specializing
in what we’re calling modern Mexican, what is
modern Mexican to you? – I don’t specialize in modern
Mexican. That doesn’t exist. (bang) What you think is modern
is just creative people pairing things with what’s
already traditional. A lot of people think that
it’s a newer, hipper thing to use an octopus but in
the coast of Michoacan we make carnitas everything
man. Everything. I make my octopus carnitas,
the most traditional way and I just simply serve
it with a jalapeño salsa and some fried leeks;
that’s it. For some people think it’s
modern, but it’s not. – [Jarod] What does it mean to
be recognized by someone like the James Beard Foundation? – Dude, it’s a great
thing for me because you know,
I’m not a chef. I am a cocinero tradicional. – [Mando] So speaking
of where you come from, where did revolver come from? (cymbals) – Revolver comes
from a little kid… (gulps water) A little kid with a dream, to show everybody my culture and my mother
because that’s my school. So when I express myself like
this and it gets recognized by people, you know that
really know about it oh man it gets me nice. – [Mando] Yeah. – Because it’s great for my
culture, for my roots, where I come from. And if my food may not
be the best looking food in the world, maybe
it not be fancy looking but it hits you in the heart and that’s what is Mexican food. It’s heart and soul
of Mexican food. (Mexican song) – [Luis Villalva] Modern
Mexican for me is playing with all the ingredients
getting together, balance the flavors, put
them all in one plate. Its just to keep it simple. – [Luis Olvera] It’s part of
Mexican modern, it’s opening your doors to the outside
world. It’s so easy to shut yourself out.
It’s so easy to say, well this is authentic,
or this is typical or this is traditional. – If, you know, Japanese
and Italians and Greek and all these other cultures
can do elevated food their way, why can’t we? We’re in a new era where
people are just now starting to appreciate
it and it’s been great. Salud guys. (glasses clink) (guitar) – [Mando] Dallas blew me away,
after talking to AQ, Luis, and Regino and their
approach and cooking style on the modern taco. – And modern Mexican doesn’t
have to be fine dining or pretentious, it’s all about
these chefs using the high quality ingredients, having
a strong attention to detail and high standards. – And it’s great to see
the chefs get the national recognition and respect
that they deserve. Which makes me
proud of my culture. – Are you ready for the desert? – I want some more. – Alright so heres the thing
about this taco right here, it’s a s’mores taco
and it’s a legit taco. – It is a chocolate tortilla,
Mexican chocolate tortilla– – Yeah, abuelita chocolate
de abuelita. You know, you Mexicans out there. You
know what kind of chocolate this is. – And for all you
gringos, Nestle Quick. – (laughs) No. (laughter) – [Mando] In the next proximo
show, I’ll visit my hometown Chuco town. – [Jarod] In the West
Texas town of El Paso. – [Mando] We’ll make carnitas
and hone in on my grassroots cocinero skills. – [Jarod] And see how El
Pasoens are changing perceptions and breaking stereotypes.

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