Spotlight: Mexico with Chef Fernanda

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On Sunday October 3rd, 2022 we hosted our final Spotlight series dinner of the year spotlighting Mexico. To close off this cultural dinner series, Chef Fernanda Reyes of Taco Naco KC took us on an ambrosial tour of Mexico with bites from each region of the large country, showcasing the complexity and uniqueness of each region that makes up what we know (and may not know) today of Mexican cuisine.

The evening was filled with a drink and food selection, each capturing a special memory or story from Chef Fernanda:

Jamaica (Hibiscus) Mezcal: My grandfather, born in the heart of Durango would say that mezcal is appropriate for any occasion. This drink honors the heart of mezcal: The city of Nombre de Dios Municipio in Durango.
Passionfruit Margarita: This is one of my favorite drinks because of the freshness of passionfruit combined with acidity of the tequila and lime. Also a namesake for my grandmothers: This drink is to remember the empowered and bold women that are at the pillars of my values
Mexican beer draft assortment: Born in Chihuahua, my maternal grandfather from a young age moved to Mazatlan, Sinaloa, and although I don’t remember much of him, I remember he always asked for a Pacifico beer at any celebratory gathering. He said a cold Pacifico beer and the breeze from the ocean brought him back to life.
Cochinita Pibil Tostada (Yucatan) : This dish is typical to Yucatan, where the Mayan would use a mix of anatto seeds to marinate the pork and cook it under the earth until tender enough to shred
Poblano Shrimp, Ceviche Baja California Style: My mother was born in La Paz Baja California, so I have a big connection with the ocean. The smell of the Pacific ocean always fills me with nostalgia. It feels important for me to add these two dishes for you to try the coastal flavors of Mexico.
Tamal Oaxaqueno (Oaxaca): [At the dinner] we [had] a special guest among us, Josefina Zarate born in Bajos de Chila, Oaxaca. From the age of 12 she learned her family recipes that have prolonged through generations of generations of Mixtec culture. She remembers cooking with her mother all her life, and at the age of 18 she came to to the USA and opened her tamales business, and now she has the best Oaxaca tamales in Kansas City.
Pozole Verde (Guerrero): This delicious broth-based soup is based in corn and is typically combined with radish, cabbage, and oregano.
Baby back rib taco (Monterrey): Northern Mexican tradition calls for red meat on Sundays, that is why I chose this delicious taco to share with family and friends.
Chile en nogada (Pubela): This dish’s history begins in puebla, starting with the nuns of the montesary and this dish is traditionally served during our national heritage month. Aside from it being delicious, it features all of the colors of the Mexican flag: red white and green
Bunuelos de viento (Mexico City): Every fall and winter festivity calls for bunuelos.. usually paired with ponche or champurrado, it is the perfect sweet end to a big dinner.

Thank you to everyone that has continued to support BoysGrow’s mission and for your attendance at our fundraising dinner. We have closed the chapter on our first run of the Spotlight series with Chef Fernanda, but stay tuned for our kickoff next year!

Special Thanks:

Chef Fernanda’s Team from Taco Naco
Our Keynote Speaker from the Culinary Team: David (’23)
BoysGrow Staff and Volunteers
Stockyard Brewery for our “Cerveza Royale”

Photos by Lacy Gordon

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