Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

A taste of Mexico and it’s not all chilli

Posted by Kimberly on September 27, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
September 27, 2007, page 2 (501 words)

The Institute of Tourism Studies goes Mexican this month as they promote the country’s food and culture until Friday.
The promotion comes complete with a Mexican band in traditional costume that are students for the most part from preparatory schools and universities, aged between 14 and 24 years of age.
Having been invited by the Hong Kong embassy as part of a festival to celebrate the independence of Mexico, they have brought their unique sound to Macau.
This had been their third visit to Hong Kong, having previously toured Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
In the words of the band’s manager, they hope to bring a little bit of folklore music from Mexico to each country they visit.
While many of the songs may not be familiar to IFT’s guests, one in particular, Labamba, certainly will.
Then there’s the cuisine, which is known for its rich flavours and variety of spices.
IFT invited two well-known chefs, Norma Leticia Ramon Benavidez and Martha Eugenia Sanchez Duenas, both from Mexico City to participate in the culinary promotion at IFT’s Educational Restaurant.
Both teach at the University of Claustro de Sor Sauna, one of Mexico’s leading culinary universities.
Chef Martha spoke a little about the food that was on offer, saying that 30 different appetisers, mains and desserts had been chosen to allow for a wide variety of flavour and produce, including Mexican stuffed crabs and Mexican stone-cooked seafood soup.
“We wanted people to know about the flavours because it’s not only about chilli and hot and spicy,” said the 29-year-old.
The event took the chefs three months to plan, with one month to decide on which dishes to serve.
“Then we had to translate recipes to make portions smaller and to adapt depending on availability,” she said.
Between the two of them, there was about 150kg of food to bring over to Macau. Asked an ingredient that they found difficult to find in Macau Martha came up with pink pine nuts, used in the sauce for the chicken breasts.
“We also had problems with the avocado as it wasn’t ripe enough for the guacamole,” she added.
Asked how they chose the recipes for the promotion, Martha admitted it was difficult as Mexico has 32 cities, each with its own ways of cooking.
She was impressed, she said, with the easy way of life here in Macau, as “back in Mexico, we are used to working seven days a week.” she said.
Turning back to the menu on offer, Martha said the desserts were based on chocolate “because cocoa beans is the gift Mexico brought to the world. We call it ‘black gold’,” she said.
Teaching in four schools in Mexico, her only goal is to make people remember her dishes.
“Food to me, means life and love, enjoyment and fun. I live for cooking,” she said.
The IFT’s restaurant will be open for lunch al la carte and a buffet dinner for MOP180 per person or half that for children under 12 years old.

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One Response to “A taste of Mexico and it’s not all chilli”

  1. Martha Sanchez said

    Dear Kimberly, thank you very much for the work you did.I would like to come back to Macau for the next year.

    Regards,

    Martha Sanchez
    (Mexico)

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