This post picks up where part 1 left off telling about Interrupted Passage: Mexico City, a project of Julio César Morales and Max La Rivière-Hedrick.
In our alternate history, we imagine Vallejo, soon after the quelling of the American revolters, making a trip to Mexico City to discuss the future of California with the supreme Mexican leadership. Due to his recent, bold actions, Vallejo is received as a hero, and a formal dinner is held in his honor, and our dinner imagines what it would look like.
The food of the Interrupted Passage project is very Vaquero- big wood fires, seasoned cast iron, macho primal cuts- and it’s influenced by many historical resources, the most important is Encarnación’s Kitchen, written by Encarnación Pinedo, considered the first Mexican author in the United States. Her book was published in 1848, but don’t let that fool you, the recipes are very familiar and close to modern California cuisine.
Breaking away from the masculine cooking style, Julio and I felt with French culture coming into vogue in Mexico around the time of Vallejo’s visit, that French, feminine and elegant was the right approach in style. We found El Cocinero Mexicano (The Mexican Chef), Mexico’s first printed cookbook, published in 1831 by Mariano Galván Rivera and used this as our base. We also foreshadowed our story with layering some very American cooking styles into the preparation.
Our dinner for 85 people was held at Tonalá Veinte, located in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. It was built in 1912 and has been owned by the Castello family since, and is currently an underground restaurant three nights of week. The owners told us every time a photo is taken in the house, a luminescence appears- a ghost in every image.
Thank you again Fundación Olga y RufinoTamayo, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Aldo Aguilar, Magali Arriola, Carmen Benavides, Diseño Boon, Michele Fiedler, Andria Lo, Armando Miguelez, Ricardo Pandal, Paulina Vélez.