The Magic of Mexico City

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Written by Dr. John Sconzo

One of the food capitals of the world, Mexico City is a vibrant metropolis unlike any other in North America. It’s exciting, beautiful and energetic. But it can be a bit daunting if unfamiliar with it. For Mexico City novices or those with plenty of experience, we will be exploring it the Rascal + Thorn way – with insider knowledge, fabulous food and drink, a deep connection and personality.

The tour will combine some of the finest food, both street food and fine dining, that the city has to offer, as well as mind-bending art and soul-shifting cocktails. One highlight is a special insider visit to Xochimilco, where a small group of dedicated and motivated business men are resurrecting and protecting this traditional breadbasket of Mexico City. As part of a Unesco World Heritage Site, Xochimilco’s purpose is to become that major provider of agriculture again, while preserving ancient techniques, biodiversity and the ecology of the system. Many of the city’s top restaurants are now sourcing much of their product through these farms. In fact, that is our special connection.

Doc at the Fire Feast

This past October, I produced the second Fire Feast on the Farm for the Pitney Meadows Community Farm in Saratoga Springs, NY. We brought in top chefs and bartenders from across North America and invited them to bring a farmer with them. Oswaldo Oliva, formerly the head of R&D at the perennial Worlds 50 Best Restaurants Top 10, Mugaritz, and now the chef/owner of Lorea in Mexico City, was one of our invitees. He brought with him Antonio Moreno Murad, a visionary techie/farmer/businessman behind the fascinating project in Xochimilco. His company, Yolcan, works to protect the chinampas of the Xochimilco by connecting the small farmers directly to the city’s chefs. As Murtad described, “Xochimilco is one of the only places where human interaction has actually improved the ecology. The creation of the chinampas led to more species and biodiversity.” Read more about the chinampas, Yolcan and Xochimilco here. Anyone can visit Xochimilco, but few will ever have the opportunity to visit it in the way that we will.

Chef Oliva from Lorea

Chef Oliva’s open-fire cooked Mexican/Spanish Arroz a Banda with jerusalem artichokes, clams, black bass, mole negro and more was a huge hit at the Pitney Meadows Fire Feast, as was a talk by Murad, who described his work to a rapt, like-minded audience. This was the genesis of this particular trip. Oliva and his fast-climbing restaurant, Lorea, will be the centerpiece, while Chef Oliva is involved in helping us put together all of the details that will make this trip very, very special.

We will be utilizing other contacts of Chef Oliva’s and mine to fill in this trip, including a dinner visit to Jorge Vallejo’s Perennial Worlds 50 Best Restaurants List star, Quintonil, a cocktail workshop at the most acclaimed cocktail bar in Mexico, Limantour, a Mexican chocolate tasting, a Mexican coffee workshop, market tours, art tours and a stay at the wonderful Hotel Carlota.

For those for whom our brief itinerary is not enough, we can help plan a longer trip, either in Mexico City or elsewhere in the country in places like Oaxaca or Puebla. An optional add-on guided tour may be possible as well.

Much like last June’s “Legacy of elBulli” R+T Tour, this is one culinary tour that you won’t want to miss.

So come join us in June on this once-in-a-lifetime trip! The Magic of Mexico City

Our guest chef dinner with @airick72 @willtwyatt and @lempka_gram coming up to open the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival at the beautiful @hotelsaranac is still 2 weeks away and we have already sold out both Saturday seatings! There are only a few seats still available for the Friday night seating! 

To whet your whistle even more, we are proud to say that the cocktail pairings will feature the portfolio of Chatham Imports including @michterswhiskey @sietemisterios Mezcal @farmersgin and more!

#randtguestchefseries #saranaclake #saranaclakewintercarnival
A great event comes down to details, both large and small. We are proud to feature these beautiful cocktail napkins done for us by @mydrap_northamerica to be used for our upcoming R+T dinners with Eric Anderson, Will Wyatt and Alex Lempka to open Saranac Lake winter Carnival at the beautiful Hotel Saranac on the 3rd and 4th of February.  Tickets are sold out for the 8pm Saturday seating, but we still have a few left for the Friday night and 5PM Saturday seatings. See our profile for more information.

#randtguestchefseries #wintercarnival #details  #smalldetailsbigdifference #saranaclake @hotelsaranac @airick72 @lempka_gram @willtwyatt @misterparadisenyc @hamletandghost @barndivahealdsburg
The holidays are upon us and it’s too late for shipping, but if you hurry, you can still purchase tickets for the grand return of the Rascal + Thorn Guest Chef Series, our first since the pandemic started. Featuring Michelin-starred chef Erik Anderson ( @airick72 ) currently at the 1Michelin star Barndiva in beautiful Healdsburg, CA in the heart of Sonoma wine country and NYC barman extraordinaire, Will Wyatt ( @willtwyatt ) of Mr. Paradise et al., these will take place at the impressively refurbished Hotel Saranac in Saranac Lake, NY to kick off the famously festive Saranac Lake Winter Carnival.

The second Saturday seating is nearly sold out and the other two seatings aren’t far behind. We have a limited number of discounted guest rooms available with purchase @hotelsaranac  so you can make a special pre-valentine’s weekend in the heart of the Adirondacks!

The evening will open with canapés from Chef Alex Lempka ( @lempka_gram ) of Hamlet & Ghost in Saratoga Springs and a welcome beverage, followed by a 5 course dinner with a choice of alcohol-containing and alcohol free pairings. 

The photo was taken 10 years ago at the legendary The Catbird Seat in Nashville, TN, where Chef Anderson was the opening chef along with Chef Josh Habiger.

Follow the profile link to the Rascal + Thorn website for more information and a link to Tock for tickets.