Chef Enrique Olvera redefines Mexican food
Scarlett Lindeman, CNN • Updated 2nd March 2018, http://www.cnn.com/travel/arti...xico-city/index.html
(CNN) — There's little doubt that Enrique Olvera is the world's best-known chef from Mexico.
His restaurant, Pujol, has consistently landed on San Pellegrino's list of the world's "50 Best Restaurants." Guests sometimes fly into Mexico City just to snag a midday lunch at Pujol.
He also owns three Eno loncherias branded cafes, an upscale restaurant, Moxi, in San Miguel Allende, and Manta, which overlooks a secluded beach in Los Cabos.
Olvera has become an ambassador of sorts for Mexican gastronomy, shining a light on a great world cuisine that for too long was obscured by frozen margaritas and guacamole.
The 1,000-day mole dish
For a man occupying such a powerful position, Olvera has remained remarkably humble.
He sports a sly smirk in interviews and is considerate and thoughtful: just a regular dude who happens to bridge the gap between aged culinary knowledge and modern gastronomic experimentation.
"I want Mexican food to keep moving," he tells CNN. "I understand that we have beautiful traditions. I feel very proud of those traditions, but I want to keep on building new traditions for the next generations."
His "mole madre" dish, one of his most famed, does just that. The dish is essentially sauce on a plate.
A bull's-eye is formed by two sauces. First, a pool of mole that has been simmering for months and at its center, a spoonful of freshly made mole.
The sauce is eaten with hot tortillas, swiped up until there's nothing left on the plate. It's a triumph of flavor, with layers of chilies, herbs, spices, fruits, nuts and seeds that unroll like an ancient map.
The current iteration features a "mother" mole that's been going for more than 1,000 days. The dish is typical of the kind of cooking Olvera has become legendary for -- ostensibly simple but profoundly complex, he's able to preserve tradition by tweaking and advancing it.