recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : oaxaca   3

‘Modern Mexican’ Steps Into the Spotlight - The New York Times
"Rosio Sánchez, a Mexican-American chef who lives in Copenhagen, makes the best tortillas in Scandinavia.

That, she admits, isn’t necessarily saying much — like laying claim to the best pizza in Indonesia.

“It was so much worse,” she said, describing the state of Mexican food when she arrived in 2010 to work as the pastry chef at the celebrated restaurant Noma. “Imagine the worst Tex-Mex food in America, and imagine that being passed on like a game of telephone, by people who have no idea what real Mexican food is.”

That is beginning to change, and not only in Copenhagen, where Ms. Sánchez has opened a taqueria with freshly ground, hand-pressed corn tortillas.

It goes far beyond tacos and tortillas, though: Mexican cuisine has made the leap to the global stage of fine dining. Restaurants like Pujol, Rosetta and Quintonil in Mexico City; Laja and Malva in Baja California; Origen in Oaxaca; and Hartwood here in Tulum all produce creative, world-class menus from the lush variety of fruit, fish, vegetables, herbs, grains and flowers that grow around them.

In places like Barcelona, London and Melbourne, as well as Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, food lovers are seeing the cuisine of Mexico in a bright new light.

Chefs are making house-cured chorizo in Toronto, and Michelin-starred chilaquiles at Punto MX in Madrid. Last week, the Houston chef Hugo Ortega, who began his working life as a shoeshine boy in Mexico City, received the James Beard Foundation’s award for best chef in his region: a first for a Mexico-born chef.

“Everywhere, I see a new respect for Mexican culture,” said Martha Ortiz, a celebrity chef in Mexico who is opening a warmly elegant restaurant, Ella Canta, in the InterContinental London Park Lane hotel this summer. Ten years ago, when a taco in London might easily have contained canned baked beans, the idea of a Mexican restaurant in a posh hotel would have been mystifying.

“Our traditional food has always had a high value at home, and there is a lot of respect for the women who produce it,” she said. “But for people internationally to be excited about it and willing to pay for it? That is new.”

These developments are part of a movement, inside and outside Mexico, to finally vanquish the rice-and-beans stereotype and to celebrate its vast and sophisticated cuisine. Just as New Nordic cuisine brought global attention to Scandinavian rye bread, smoked fish and Arctic berries, the newly coined “Modern Mexican” shines a spotlight on ingredients like cacao, agave and cactus; pre-Hispanic varieties of tomatoes, squash and pumpkins; and the country’s all-important corn and chiles.

Outside Mexico, at places like Cosme and Empellón in New York; Hoja Santa, the Adrià brothers’ restaurant in Barcelona; Broken Spanish in Los Angeles; and Cala and Californios in San Francisco, chefs are carefully combining Mexican flavors with modern ideas and local references. At Atla, in Manhattan, the tostada with Arctic char, farmer’s cheese and capers deliberately echoes the Lower East Side’s traditional bagel with scallion cream cheese and lox."



"Claudia Prieto Piastro, a Mexican food anthropologist, said: “I don’t object to others working with our food. I do object to feeling like we’re supposed to be grateful that someone is shining a light on it.”

It should also be recognized that in parts of the country with less agriculture and fewer tourists, like Durango and Puebla, the culinary picture is not as rosy.

Most chefs, however, are happy to have Mr. Redzepi here. “Anything that helps put Mexican cuisine on the world map is good for all of us,” said Roberto Solís, the chef and owner of Nectar in Mérida, the largest city in the region, who specializes in the cooking of the Yucatán.

And, he said, even chefs in Mexico have a long way to go in learning about the food of their own nation. From north to south, Mexico covers the same distance that exists between Ireland and Greece, and Mexican cuisine is not easy to draw a line around.

“Chefs come here to have real cochinita pibil,” he said, referring to the region’s Mayan-style pit-cooked pig. “And then they tell me that they like the one in Mexico City better.”"
food  mexico  restaurants  mexicocity  df  mexicodf  costamesa  sanfrancisco  bajacalifornia  california  oaxaca  losangeles  barcelona  nyc 
may 2017 by robertogreco
McDonald's: you can sneer, but it's the glue that holds communities together | Business | The Guardian
[Tweeted previously:
"“Unlike community centers, it is also free of bureaucracy.” When our public institutions no longer serve the public."
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/742821334476951554

and noting
"Same with other chains (like Starbucks, KFC) in my neighborhood. Places for youth to assemble too, when programs come with too many strings."
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/742821897553874944

"When many lower-income Americans are feeling isolated by the deadening uniformity of things, by the emptiness of many jobs, by the media, they still yearn for physical social networks. They are not doing this by going to government-run community service centers. They are not always doing this by utilizing the endless array of well-intentioned not-for-profit outreach programs. They are doing this on their own, organically across the country, in McDonald’s.

Walk into any McDonald’s in the morning and you will find a group of mostly retired people clustering in a corner, drinking coffee, eating and talking. They are drawn to the McDonald’s because it has inexpensive good coffee, clean bathrooms, space to sprawl. Unlike community centers, it is also free of bureaucracy."



"In almost every franchise, there are tables with people like Betty escaping from the streets for a short bit. They prefer McDonald’s to shelters and to non-profits, because McDonald’s are safer, provide more freedom, and most importantly, the chance to be social, restoring a small amount of normalcy.

In the Bronx, many of my friends who live on the streets are regulars. Steve, who has been homeless for 20 years, uses the internet to check up on sports, find discarded papers to do the crossword puzzle, and generally escape for a while. He and his wife Takeesha will turn a McDonald’s meal into an evening out. Beauty, who has been homeless for five years, uses the internet to check up on her family back in Oklahoma when she can find a computer to borrow.

Most importantly though, McDonald’s provide many with the chance to make real and valuable connections. When faced with the greatest challenges, with a personal loss, wealthier Americans turn to expensive therapists, others without the resources or the availability, turn to each other.

In Sulfur Springs, Texas, in the late morning, Lew Mannon, 76, and Gerald Pinkham, 78, were sitting alone at a table, the last of the morning regulars to leave. She was needling him about politics. (“I like to tease the men who come, get them all riled up, tell them they just don’t want a female as president.”) Both are retired, Gerald from working for an airfreight company, and Lew after 28 years as a bank teller.

When I asked Lew about her life, she started to tear up, stopped for a second, and composed herself. “Life is hard. Very hard. Seven years ago I lost my husband to leukemia. Then three years ago I lost one of my sons. Health complications from diabetes. When my son died, I had nobody to help me, emotionally, except this community here. Gerald lost his wife three years ago, and we have helped support each other through that.”

She stopped again, unable to speak from tears. After a moment of silence: “I look composed on the outside. Many of us do. But I struggle a lot on the inside. This community here gives me the support to get by.”"

[Update: Kenyatta Cheese blogged this with the following notes:
http://finalbossform.com/post/145925082985/mcdonalds-you-can-sneer-but-its-the-glue-that

I’ve learned through @triciawang that spaces like these are known as third places in sociology. Third places are neutral, accessible spaces where people can meet with old friends and be exposed to possible new ones.

Tricia spent a decade living in, mapping, and understanding third places in Beijing, Wuhan, Brooklyn, Bangalore, and Oaxaca. (She’s badass that way.)

She taught me that Starbucks and Pizza Hut serve a similar role among young folks in China, especially for people who don’t necessarily feel comfortable sleeping in the third places that are internet cafes.

Small note on how this connects to @everybodyatonce: tv networks and creators sometimes ask us if they should create a dedicated app or website for their fandoms to which we almost always say no.

Much like the government-run community center, a dedicated app creates an unnecessary barrier to entry for new fans and requires you to program the space in the same way that you need to program and organize physical space. By meeting fans in neutral spaces (tumblr, twitter, IG, LJ, even reddit), you build bigger community by supporting the culture that already exists. ]
2016  chrisarnade  community  cities  mcdonalds  poverty  society  inequality  elitism  us  bureaucracy  elderly  aging  economics  civics  lowerclass  precarity  classism  thirdspaces  kenyattacheese  triciawang  beijing  starbucks  china  brooklyn  wuhan  bangalore  oaxaca  pizzahut  kfc  everybodyatonce  fandom  socialmedia 
june 2016 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read