You may have some difficulty remembering the name of this resto or how to properly spell it but one thing is certain, you will remember the food. Mexican dishes with its cumin and cilantro led flavours stay in the mouth and mind. There is more to Mexican cuisine than the ever popular Tex-Mex dishes we are familiar with such as burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas.
You will be surprised to know that there is Philippine influence on their dishes particularly the ceviche which is their version of our “kilawin” according to Achiote’s Chef Owner Robby Goco. Nachos, we were also told, did not originate in Mexico. These are some trivias shared by Chef Goco during our happy hour with him last February 6. Our discussion went as far in history as the Galleon trade where the exchange of culture and food took place.
We had fun sampling the dishes along with silver then gold mojitos, differentiated by the amount and kind of tequila used. The good chef emphasized that he doesn’t compromise on quality, he uses imported cheese and other ingredients to maintain that authentic Mexican flavour. We tried the ceviche which had layers of squids, shrimps and vegetables in a presentation that resembled a colourful sundae concoction.
|dessert, former mistake|
The quezo dip was a personal favorite to go with my nachos. Chef Goco even taught us how to put together something like a tortilla sandwich which was so filling, we barely had space left for the quesadilla and burritos. The dessert was a mistake, meaning the dish started as a mistake but turned out to be a delicious success thus the mistake was retained and stayed in the menu.
“We only choose the freshest produce from the market as this really defines the tastiness of our dishes. We try to support the organic farming industry as much as they can provide. As a matter of fact, we are about to open a new restaurant that serves designer salad and green dishes,” announced Chef Goco.
Chef Goco was generous enough to share a salsa recipe for everyone that can be customized for each one’s subjective taste buds: Pick the freshest tomatoes and onions then roast for a few minutes to give that smokey flavour as well as preserve the sweetness. Peel the skin of both tomatoes and onions before tossing over the blender. Add a few crushed garlic pieces, cilantro, cumin, salt and squeezed lemon before blending together. The amount and proportion depends on your personal tastes. Now you have an authentic Mexican salsa to go with your nachos or chips as you watch a home video or for pica-pica with friends.
During our happy hour with the chef, we learned more about his concerns and the noble reasons for his business. “I don’t like the idea of families being separated because the breadwinner has to work abroad. That is one of the reasons I devoted time to make this business work so I can provide jobs and families can stay together. Not just for my employees but also for farmers who supply me with my organic produce. That’s the strongest motivating factor for me as a businessman, “ states Chef Goco who has a string of restaurants to his name which include Cyma and Tequila Joe among others.
So not only do we satisfy out palate and stomach when we dine at Achiote but we also feel good about ourselves for patronizing a chef who provide jobs for several people. Achiote Taqueria is located at Makati. For more information and updates,
|with Chef Robby Goco and his wife|