from Chef Julian Medina of
Zócalo – New York, NY
Ceviche de Res
Tacos de Foie
Callos de Hacha
Food cost is arguably one of the most important business challenges
one must conquer when running a restaurant. Calculated as
net food purchases over net food sales, 30-40% food cost is
generally acceptable in many food establishments. Bar sales
tend to be acknowledged as the biggest money maker, but a
creative holiday menu such as this Cinco de Mayo menu can
bring even greater profitability. The holiday is an opportunity
for chefs to lower their food costs by pairing more economical,
standard Mexican fare such as beans, tortillas and avocados
with culinary treats such as foie gras and sea scallops.
Chef Julian Medina of Zócalo, an upscale
restaurant with two locations in New York City, serves modern
Mexican fare every day – not just on Cinco de Mayo.
Take his recipes as inspiration – not only to create
adventurous cuisine, but to pair authentic Mexican-inspired
dishes with distinctly un-Mexican ingredients. The result
is a fine dining Cinco de Mayo celebration with controlled
food costs and satisfied customers.
can be a very profitable menu item with plate cost at just
a few dollars and menu prices in the teens. Chef Medina offers
a trio of this Mexican staple, highlighting the regional diversity
of this national dish. The first is traditional guacamole;
the chunky blend of avocados, fresh cilantro, onion, tomato
and jalapeño is a classic. Guacamole
Rojo offers a smokier heat with chipotle chile puree,
balanced by a sprinkling of queso fresco, a fine-grained,
fresh Mexican cheese. Chef Medina’s lively Guacamole
con Granada is sweet and fruity with the addition of mango,
apple and pomegranate seeds.
Inspired by his love of steak tartare,
Chef Julian incorporates Mexican flavors into his Ceviche
de Res. The meat pairs perfectly with smoky chile
morita salsa and acidic key lime; crunchy sea salt and a smooth,
runny quail egg yolk bring this dish together. The chef keeps
food cost low by slicing the prime rib eye paper-thin.
The rich and decadent Tacos
de Foie is Chef Medina’s Parisian take
on traditional Mexican liver tacos, that are typically eaten
with sautéed onions and salsa. Inexpensive pinto beans,
onion and tortillas balance the high price of foie gras. Served
in a palm-sized warm tortilla, a dollop of smooth, smokey
pinto bean puree is topped with a richly nutty portion of
foie gras, caramelized onion and arbol chile salsa, and garnished
with chopped chives and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Perfectly seared scallops wade in a hot and sweet Meyer lemon
and chile vinaigrette in Callos
de Hacha. Make sure to use Hass avocados, which
retain their shape well when fried. The textural contrast
of a crisp layer around the avocado’s buttery smooth
flesh completes the dish with the inviting scent of the light
A Mexican celebration of Cinco de Mayo is not complete without
Chef Julian’s signature Patsy
Margarita. It’s no secret that bar sales
skyrocket on this holiday. Take advantage of price control
at your restaurant bar when serving this classic and pure,
no-fuss margarita. It’s what a true margarita is meant
to taste like: ice-cold, smooth Patron tequila with the orange-essence
of Grand Marnier and freshly squeezed lime juice.
¡Viva Cinco de Mayo!