Monday, September 15 10:20AM—11:30AMMexican Street Food: From Common to Exquisite Savory Workshop
Pujol is widely considered one of Mexico’s premiere dining destinations; at the helm is the 32-year old Enrique Olvera, one of a new guard of Mexican chefs who are elevating the country’s cuisine through interpretation at the highest levels of dining.
Olvera was born in Mexico, but moved to the US for culinary school. His professional career began in 1996 when he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Suring his studies, he earned various awards, including the gold medal from the New York Société Culinaire Philanthropique, and the Jacob Rosenthal Leadership Award. Olvera’s first job post-graduation in 1999 was at the Everest Room, one of Chicago’s top restaurants.
The following year, with fine dining and classical training under his belt, Olvera returned to Mexico City to open his own restaurant, Pujol. His goal: to re-imagine traditional, regional Mexican food, and present its styles, flavors, and techniques in a modern fine-dining setting. His efforts have been lauded by the Mexican and international press: Olvera was the youngest chef ever to earn the Catadores “Chef of the Year Award” in 2004, and has since been distinguished as “Chilango del Año” in 2004 and 2006, one of “The 30 Mexican Talents of 2005,” and one of the “Ten Best Chefs in Mexico 2005” by Universal newspaper among others.
In 2005 and 2007, he received the “Young Restaurateur” award from Mexico’s National Restaurant Chamber. Olvera and the chic Habita Hotel Group are currently collaborating on 7 properties in Mexico City, Puebla, Monterrey, and New York. Additionally, Olvera heads up food design for Mexicana de Aviación, Mexico’s largest commercial airline.
Robalito “Al Pastor” with Pineapple Sauce
Chef Enrique Olvera of Pujol – Mexico City, Mexico
Adapted by StarChefs.com
Yield: 4 Servings
• 1 guajillo chili, deveined
• 1 clove garlic
• 100 milliliters vegetable oil
• 100 grams achiote
• 50 grams sliced onion
• 1 plum tomato
• 120 milliliters orange juice
• 4 180- to 200-gram fillets sea bass
• ¼ green (unripe) pineapple, peeled
• 100 grams butter
• ½ pineapple, peeled, cored and cleaned
• 20 milliliters lemon juice
• 100 grams cilantro leaves
• ½ onion, chopped
• 1 Serrano chili, seeded and chopped
To Assemble and Serve:
• Clarified butter as needed
• 4 tortillas, cut into circles and fried crisp
• ½ pineapple, peeled, cored, cleaned and finely diced
• 40 milliliters lemon juice
• Cilantro sprigs
For the Robalito:
Fry guajillo and garlic in oil until fragrant. Set aside to cool. Put guajillo, garlic, achiote, onion, tomato and orange juice in a blender and puree until smooth; pass through a chinois. Cut each fillet into 2 pieces; cover with chili puree and marinate in refrigerator.
For the Dehydrated Pineapple:
Preheat oven to 100°C/210°F. Thinly slice green pineapple using a mandolin or slicer. Dehydrate in oven on a Silpat for about 90 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the Pineapple Sauce:
Melt butter in small sauce pot, and add pineapple. Cook until soft and more intense in color. Season with salt and sprinkle with lemon juice. Transfer to a blender and puree; pass through a fine-mesh strainer.
For the Cilantro Paste: *
Blanch cilantro in hot water and refresh in iced water. Puree onion, serrano chili and cilantro with a few drops of water in a blender until it has a paste-like consistency. Season with salt. Remove any excess liquid by pressing in a chinois. Set aside in refrigerator.
* Do not prepare the cilantro paste more than 30 minutes before use to avoid oxidation.
To Assemble and Serve:
Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F. Remove sea bass from chili marinade, season with salt and sear in clarified butter in a hot frying pan. Finish in oven for 5 minutes. Put tortilla circles on plate and top with finely diced pineapple; add 2 pieces sea bass and keep warm. Deglaze fish pan with lemon juice and add pineapple sauce. Place cilantro paste in a squeeze bottle and squeeze a line across the plate. Finish with drops of pineapple sauce and garnish with dehydrated pineapple pieces and cilantro sprigs.