Eat Like a Local, which offers “food safaris” in Mexico City, is a sustainable tourism company, meaning that it creates tours that seek to do no damage to a city.
Rocio Vazquez Landeta founded the company in 2015 as a way to educate tourists as well as build up her city. She only employs women as guides, next month the company will become zero-waste, and she makes it a point to not frequent restaurants that are run by those who have reputations of being unethical (they don’t pay suppliers, harass women in the kitchen, etc.).
“Sometimes these are the best restaurants and are listed on amazing [foodie] websites,” she says. I am inside the industry, and I decide not to support these restaurants. I don’t care if their food is amazing. We have the power to change the world and the power is in where we decide to spend our money.” I recently spoke with Landeta about trends in Mexico City’s gourmet scene.
Q: Which restaurants are you particularly supportive of in Mexico City right now?
A: Right now one of my favorites is called Maroma. It is women-owned, or rather the owner, Mercedes, owns it with her husband. She is helping Mexico work on the trend to work with small producers. She doesn’t have a fixed menu. It keeps changing. Her food is very subtle and perfect. When you think about Mexican food you expect explosions in your mouth, but Mercedes is not like that. She has layers of flavor and it is really cool.
There is another place called Andolina that is serving Oaxacan food. It’s a really cool place in Condesa that is supporting small producers. They are not part of the “best” restaurants that everyone talks about, but we should be talking about them.
Q: Are there any new trends you’re seeing in Mexican cooking?
A: I think that [Mexican chefs] are realizing the importance of fermented foods and we’re starting to experiment with that. It started last year and is becoming trendier now. We rediscovered pulque, and now we are looking at another indigenous fermented drink, tepache, which is a fermented pineapple drink.
We’re also focusing on the process to make tortillas. You need to boil the corn with limestone and water to change the composition of the corn. This has been happening here since before the Aztecs but people are starting to realize the importance.
Q: What is one of the most surprising changes you’ve seen in Mexico City cuisine?
A: The reason behind the rise in experimentation with fermentation is thanks to the Korean influence in Mexico City. We are starting to get lots of Korean people in Mexico. Even Costco is importing Korean items because Korean chefs need things for their kitchens. In the Zona Rosa, in particular, there are lots of Korean restaurants that have opened.
For more information on Eat Like a Local’s tour offerings, visit its website by clicking here.
Source: Travel Weekly