Window, blue sky, and clouds from the inside at Restaurante Los Panchos, Calle Tolstoy #9, Colonia Anzures, Mexico City, where Mexico's culinary bloggers met formally for the first time on October 6, 2010. We met, of course, over comida (Mexico's main meal of the day).
Mexico and her deliciously diverse cuisines are popping up wherever you look these days. Taco trucks are hot from New York City to Los Angeles, Germany and France are snarfing down everything from enchiladas to flan, and traditional Mexican dishes are in worldwide ascendence. What's on your plate today is not just Taco Bell.
Claudio Poblete and Silvia Ayala, producers of Culinaria Mexicana, a marvelous monthly on-line Spanish-language magazine about all things related to Mexico's cuisines and wines.
Best of all, the joys of Mexico's cuisines--documented in print by such authors as Diana Kennedy, Rick Bayless, and Marge Poore, among many others both Mexican and foreign--are now all over the Internet. Many of Mexico's current culinary bloggers live in or near Mexico City, and earlier this month a few of us met for comida to discuss the present and the future of our craft and passion: writing about what we eat and love in Mexico.
Los Panchos plate includes (from six o'clock) ensalada de nopalitos con jitomate y queso (salad of nopal cactus strips with tomato and crumbled cheese), sliced avocado, limón (Mexican lime), fresh-made guacamole, chicharrón, and one of the house specialties, tostada petrolera.
One of the bloggers who was unfortunately unable to attend the group is the most excellent writer and investigator Rubén Hernández (Crónicas del Sabor). While this first meeting was in the planning stage, Rubén suggested that such a group might provoke the beginning of something more than just a casual let's-put-a-face-to-the-blog-names get-together over comida. Other, more serious topics required discussion: the future of food and eating in Mexico, the rescue and revival of Mexico's millenia-old culinary traditions, the place of culinary blogging in this country, and other related and equally important themes.
For once in our careers, the food we were about to eat was not the main item on the agenda! All of us, including occasional blogger Ruth Alegría (Alegría in Mexico), had to take time out from the meeting to study the Los Panchos menu.
One of Los Panchos' signature dishes: the famous tostada petrolera, a crispy corn tortilla smeared with frijolitos refritos (well-fried beans), then topped with minced onions, cilantro, and crumbled cheese. Add a dollop of the table sauce of your choice--red or green--and oh my!
The charming and extremely knowledgeable Adriana Legaspi, creator and leader of Gastronomía Prehispánica de Malinalco. Adriana said, "I'm not really a writer, but I'm so happy that I was invited to come today!"
Our waiter at Los Panchos took a terrific picture of the bloggers group. Left to right: Nick Gilman, Catherine Bardrick, Juliet Lambert, Claudio Poblete, Adriana Legaspi, Silvia Ayala, Mexico Cooks!, Ruth's granddaughter Emma, and Ruth Alegría. Several other bloggers were unable to attend this first meeting, but we'll plan soon for the second get-together.
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