Saturday, December 3, 2016

Comida with the Female Chefs of SMA: Jacinto 1930

It’s no secret that Jacinto 1930 is one of our favorite restaurants in SMA, serving celebrated Mexican dishes like Esquites, my favorite Chicharrón Gorditas  pictured above, and of course the superb mole martini by Beverage Director Adrian Evans. Look for some special cocktails in-the-works for the holiday menu this year.

This SMA Mexican fine dining restaurant by Chef Matteo Salas, continues earning awards; most recently from Food and Travel Mexico at their Readers Awards where Chef Matteo Salas took Best Chef and Jacinto 1930 won the award for the Best New Restaurant. Aperi, one of Chef Salas’s other properties, also recently received the Grand Luxury Award from the Association of International Hospitality.

We look for any excuse to eat here, like having comida with four of our favorite female chefs: Marene Flores Silva, Luvia Esmeralada de la Rosa, Sofia Moreno, and Rocío Guardado Saenz, who continue to provide creative support to Chef Salas in the kitchen.

We had a simple and flavorful comida: Soup, Gordita and Dessert; the kind of meal that many people are looking for on a cool December day in SMA. I’ve come to think of Jacinto 1930 as an everyday option instead of one that you eat at just on special occasions. The food, presentation and flavors are what you’ve come to expect from Chef Salas. I also love the atmosphere; glassed in elegance that’s perfect for people watching.

What we had...

Dry Noodle Soup with chipotle, avocado, cream and cheese $105 pesos

We loved the flavor of this broth. The spice was absorbed by the delicate noodles. Perfectly portioned.

Chicharrón Gorditas $112 pesos

We can’t get off ordering this dish, which is one of the most popular things on the menu. The gorditas are bite sized, crispy and the flavor is amazing. It’s one of our favorite dishes in San Miguel. Chef Sofia Moreno made the accompanying salsa the day we had lunch and the flavors were magical.

Frozen and smoked strawberries, ice powder of ranch cream, lemon sorbet, fresh cheese and vanilla for just $125 pesos.

There are a wonderful variety of textures in this dish. Flawless combination of ingredients to top off this comida.

Meet these talented chefs again…

Marene Flores Silva
Pastry Chef
Jacinto 1930

Chef Marene Flores Silva was a high performance swimmer in high school. Her love of cooking appeared when she went to India as a volunteer with the Sisters of Charity of Mother Teresa and discovered Indian cooking.

She graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Queretaro with a Bachelor in Gastronomy. She says all cooks know that school means nothing without the practical experience so she completed her internship at Dani Garcia restaurant in Marbella, Spain. She came to San Miguel to work at Cumpanio and was relocated to Jacinto 1930 when it opened earlier this year.  She says of Chef Matteo Salas that she needs to learn everything she can from him; he knows so much.

Food is in her DNA; her family makes cheese and her sister teaches cheese making classes. (quesosdelrebano on Instagram). Never a picky eater, Marene eats everything. Long cooking times of more than twelve hours are her favorite because it marries the flavors. She also loves raw meat, ceviches, and aguachiles; shrimp aguachile being a specialty. She would love to go to NYC and back to Spain but says “Jacinto 1930 is a project so I’m going to postpone traveling for awhile.”

She usually makes haute cuisine which fascinates her because there are so many preparations. She says the food that is best is her mother’s comfort food; the food that speaks to her soul.

Luvia Esmeralada de la Rosa
Chef, Estación del Maíz
Jacinto 1930

Chef Luvia Esmeralada de la Rosa studied at the Instituto Universitario de Oaxaca and loves the aroma of freshly ground corn. She says that Chef Matteo Salas is her top chef now and she’s a huge fan. She loves making noodle soups and can’t live without being an accomplice to Chef Marene’s (Jacinto’s pastry chef) hyacinth desserts. If it was the last weekend on earth, she would be in Oaxaca eating tacos and barbecue with her family and daughter.

Like a true Oaxacan, instead of recommending a wine, she selected Mezcal. If you can only buy five things for your kitchen, she recommends a good knife, a nice table, a molcajete, a griddle and a special spoon. She loves making mole broths and her new, favorite new ingredient is Xoconoxtle, asour and tart fruit that makes delicious salsas and refreshing margaritas.

“I’ll be at Jacinto 1930 for a long time because I have so much to learn” she says. “The restaurant is my home now.”

Sofia Moreno
Cold Chef
Jacinto 1930

When Chef Sofia Moreno was in high school, she loved to feed all of her friends. Her two grandmothers, who both loved to cook, have influenced her cooking. She especially enjoys eating the flour tortillas and tamales that her grandmother from Ocotlan, Jalsico makes.

Sofia graduated from the Escuela Culinaria Internacional, ECI, in Guadalajara. She won a seafood contest at ITESO, the University of Guadalajara, against three other teams of chefs who were much more experienced than her. She did an internship at Disney’s Coronado Springs hotel in Orlando and returned to Guadalajara to work at Harrison’s Restaurant in Colonia Chapilita, working in bakery, one of her favorite areas, and also breakfast. She currently works as a cold chef at Jacinto 1930. She has a deep respect for the origin of Mexican cooking and is passionate about simmered food because of the potential for flavors and the aromas. Her cooking specialties are Focaccia and Sashimi Tuna. Her favorite cookbook is Tacopedia, the Encyclopedia of tacos. “It’s interesting, she says, because it’s about the history of the tortilla, everything related to maize and how it differs in other regions in Mexico.”

She would like to go cook in Dubai, a city that has grown impressively and is known for its diverse food scene with over 180 nationalities living in the emirate.

Rocío Guardado Saenz
Chef, Salsas and Garnishes
Jacinto 1930

When Rocio was a child, she was small and couldn’t always see what her mother was teaching her in the kitchen. She’s worked most of her young life in the family business, dedicated to the sale of Piñatas.

She graduated from the Instituto Culinario Danieli in San Luis Potosi and did her internship at Aperi and her first job at Jacinto 1930.

She likes vacuum cooking and says she had no chance at the university to learn about the methods of cooking like she did at Aperi and Jacinto 1930. She’s since discovered that vacuum cooking is the best way to bring food to perfection. Her specialties are Pozoles and Menudos. Her boss, Chef Israel Loyola, is an inspiration.

In her spare time, when she’s not cooking, she’s a co-pilot in auto racing and has a huge passion for V8 cars. Down the road, she wants to go to Spain to represent Mexican food in Europe.