In the month where Mexican restaurants across Bangkok have been quietly duelling it out with each other, trying to outdo one another with their Cinco de Mayo Celebrations, Carlos Bravo, Head Chef of Mexicano at the Rembrandt Bangkok showed us this week that he is truly deserving of this month’s Hotelintel.co chef of the Month award.
Bravo was born and raised in Mexico City and brings not only authenticity with his cooking, but also a youthful take on Mexico’s traditional cuisine.
What are the top three go-to ingredients that you always have in your home kitchen?
Tortillas, Jalapeño chilis, and Beans
What dish do you enjoy cooking the most?
My favorite dish is called “Mole”. It’s very typical of the food from Puebla in Mexico and it contains a lot of ingredients from Mexico.
What is authentic Mexican food and what variety of Mexican food do you personally cook? Is it the Mexican food from Mexico proper or Tex-Mex or even Californian Mexican? What are the differences between these anyway?
Authentic Mexican food would be dishes that represent each region of the country. We are talking homemade food that is prepared with ingredients that are typical of those places.
Of course the real ‘Mexicano food’ is from Mexico. The difference between the food served in those two states of the United States would be that in Texas, while dishes are mainly the same as what we would have in Mexico, they tend to add more cheese and sour cream to everything. Now compare this to Californian Mexican food where they seem to eat more burritos and nachos which are not really common in Mexico.
What makes your Mexican food truly ‘Mexican’, and does Mexican food in Asia differ from Mexican food in other parts of the world?
I always try to cook with passion and love so that the people can taste and appreciate each flavor and color that’s present in my food.
In Asia I’ve found that it’s not common for people to try different dishes from other parts (of Mexico), but the Mexican food we make does have some similar flavors and ingredients to the local food here and so people are open to trying it.
What are some misconceptions that people might have about Mexican food?
That we eat everything with sour cream and that the tortilla that we use for the tacos is of the hard variety - and also that our food is always very spicy.
Do you incorporate any CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in your cooking?
We use local products such as fish, pork, beef and avocado etc. We are always mindful to ensure minimum wastage as well.
What are your kitchen's rules?
Hygiene, quality, passion, happiness, good attitude and everyone must absolutely enjoy it when they cook.