Considered as one of the main exponents of preserving traditional Mexican cuisine, Chef Colibrí Jiménez is on a mission to promote ‘real’ Mexican cuisine. Originally from Mexico City, Chef Colibrí began her taste and love for cooking from a very young age with the recipes and culinary traditions of her maternal grandmother, Guadalupe de Ella. She worked as a cook in an organic store and beach kiosk. She has been one of the Top 24 chefs in the popular Netflix show 'THE FINAL TABLE'. In her bid to popularise Mexican cuisine, she has also authored a book called 'Una Aventura Gastronomica', where she shares stories and photographs of her journey in Mexico and its most remote corners.

On her recent visit to Goa for an evening of Mexican gluttony at W Goa in partnership with World on a Plate, she spoke her heart out on what she thinks is the “Real” Mexican flavours is all about.

How would you define ‘Real Mexican cuisine”

I would define 'Real Mexican Cuisine' as a respectful cuisine with techniques and ingredients that show the truth about contemporary Mexico. Authentic Mexican cuisine comes from seven different regions in the country and all these dishes vary distinctively from one another.

What similarities do you see in Indian and Mexican flavours?

Of course there is similarities. Indian and Mexican are both cuisines with great history that bonds with the people and the culture. Both these cuisines have preserved technics and ingredients for centuries and are a huge part of what keeps the nations alive.

Talking of Mexican culinary traditions, how do you define them?

A mixture of prehispánicas Mexico with the colon is still alive today in most households. Techniques such as traditional cooking methods like Tatemar (to roast black ingredients) and Nixtamalizar (a químicas and fiscal phenomena to make maiz nutritional accessible and flexible). These are just some examples of the many culinary traditions that still are alive.

While curating a complete culinary experience for gastronomes what do you specially take care of?

I am extremely passionate about ingredients. I take special care of the ones I select to bring abroad to make sure they are of the best quality.  Also, while curating culinary experiences like the one I'll be doing at Sylvia, W Goa on the 22nd of January, I strive to always keep the dishes as authentic as possible by using the original recipe and process. For the 6 course experiential menu at the upcoming dinner at W Goa, I've handpicked some of the most authentic and traditional recipes such as Espesado De Frijol Negro, Hoja De Aguacate, Epazote, Juliennes De Tortilla (Black Bean Broth Soup, Avocado Leaf, Epazote, Fried Tortilla Juliennes), Tortilla De Maíz, Birria De Cordero, Pico De Gallo Y Fresa, Mayonesa De Chipotle, Cacahuate (Lamb Birria Taco, Strawberry Pico De Gallo, Chipotle Mayonnaise, Peanut), ARROZ Costeño Y Su Socarrat, Aioli De Limón, Sofrito De Calamar, Camarón Y Almeja  (Rustic Mexican Style Rice And Its Socarrat, Lime Aioli, Sofrito Of Squid, Shrimp And Clams), To Name A Few To Offer The Most Authentic Mexican Culinary Experience To The Guests.

What is your idea of innovation when it comes to food?

I believe in mindful eating and cooking, sharing respect, awareness, fair trade and ethical eating. I have developed the concept of ingredient cooking that aims to honor and represent each Mexican ingredient. México has given the world many super foods and important culinary ingredients such as: tomatoes, vanilla, cactus, chilis, mace, insects, chia just to name a few. My idea of innovation is being honest and aiming for sustainability, cooking food without ego and that is inclusive with the community and the producers.

What are your fav spices to work with?

Cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla that is endemic to my country. 

You have come to India earlier too, What are two dishes that you loved trying here? Did you try making them back at home?

I’m in love with India! I use a lot of Indian spices in my desserts! But this trip is unique as I’m planning my new opening of Estudio Cal and I’m definitely taking back recipes and ideas including Dosas, Dal and Indian sweets. 

What is that one food memory that really makes you nostalgic?

My grandmother taught me to cook when I was a little girl. I realised my passion when I started understanding the nuances of this art. Hence, one of my fondest food memory is my grandmother's Mole. She used to prepare it for me without Chile when I was a kid! Now it is a top-selling dish at my restaurant Maria Raíz y Tierra.

One of fav Mexican dish recipe

Sharing the recipe for Aguachile:

Ingredients:

    1kg shrimp shelled and thinly sliced

    500ml lime juice

    2 Serrano/ green chili hot (fresh)

    3 cloves garlic

    150gms onion

    10 salt

    160gm coriander

    1/2l water

    100gm prawn cracker

Method:

- Mix all the ingredients together apart from the shrimp

- Blitz the ingredients together and strain

- 1 hour before serving, soak the sliced shrimp and refrigerate

- Serve with the shrimp with the strained liquid and prawn crackers

To plate, serve with the liquid, chopped cucumber, green onion and prawn crackers