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Chef Iliana de la Vega discusses authentic Oaxacan cuisine


Chatting with chef. Ileana de la Vega about authentic hocken. Cuisine Ileana welcome to milk street. Thank you very much for having me here. Let me just start by saying of Ben to Your Restaurant in Toronto in Austin a couple times in the last two years and it was the best Hawkin food of had including in. Walk US terrific so you lived in Mexico City remarried there. You move to to start Eldorado restaurant but but you had trouble being accepted in some way. So explain that to me. Yeah what happened? I mean as you mentioned I was born in Mexico City and eventually ninety four actually moved to a hacker. We opened the restaurant until ninety seven. And Yeah my mom is what was Oaxacan but because I was in born in Oaxaca was not supposed to be cooking blog on food. I mean I guess that things have changed you know hook us a little bit more open now than it was there but You know for them. I wasn't outsider. So you had the restaurant there and then in two thousand six you left so what happened between ninety seven and two thousand six in terms of your restaurant and the politics and everything in the region. Well we were very successful restaurant. Join despite of like many were huggins. Consider me that it was an tighter and then on two thousand six there was turmoil in Oaxaca social unrest and so we had you know the economy collapsed in. We had to close a restaurant. And then I bet charlie we moved to Texas Allston. Imprecise you and I spoke a while back about what is moulay and your definition of it was totally different than what I thought. So could you just break it down for me? I mean you said there were three basic components to moulay. Maybe you could just take us through the concept right. They are like three groups of ingredients to make malate so one will be vegetables and by vegetables. How you also mean chillers. Okay so tomatoes tomatoes onions and garlic and such and then we have spices. So let's say black pepper cumin Cinnamon sugar sold chocolate. And then the third one very important one for these are the figures could be bread or it could be muscle for making tortillas and also not like almonds so there are the three of you take a little bit of each in each one of those categories you will make a molly molly. Negro is very complex. But I I gather that some Malays actually are much simpler than that rhyming. Talk to us about a simple mobile. Yeah okay like let's say like me. For example I think is the simplest one. You'll take a you know. Fresh Materials Green Sheila's Serrano's Jalapenos. Or one of those onion garlic and put it in the blender and then you fried mixture and then you add some herbs fresh herbs so I do up Ohio Santa Parsley and episode. That's my traditional one. And then you have the thickener. Which is the muscle that you dilute. I in a little bit of water and you added so those are the basic ingredients and you can make that. Molay in twenty minutes rather than the. Mola negative that he takes three days. I want you to describe because I've had your Molin Agro and it was divine if you taste a really well made Molin agro. Ideally what should it be like? What is important when you make him? Only non one of those stents out not on one of those flavors. So you will they said. Oh it is a little cinnamon and then the next. We'll give you a little bit of cumin for example or the next bite will give you a little bit of chocolate so each You know spoonful that you take the molly will give you a different note Let's let's talk about some common things in Oaxaca. The Mole Yetay Which I had for breakfast WanNa talk about how that's made. And maybe the tradition of that dish. Well then we get something simple that you will find all over Mexico. Norling OAXACA somewhat yet is believe traditionally like by a piece of bread like a kind of a French bread and then put a little bit of a border in it then beans and then some cheese will melt and then you put it on there. They'll win or something to get kind of. Nice melting and cross the cheese. And then you make Salsa Makina which is like Salsa Pico they get your tomatoes onion Sheila Bair the Serrano or Jalapeno see land throw and a little bit of lime juice in they knew. Serve it with it on the site. It was a terrific practice they also a Santa which is Pork Lard. Is that often used as a primary layer for lots of tacos enchiladas? Is that something that's common ingredient there. Okay largest one thing like Hitler this when you have a big piece of pork and then you take out the fat than you cook. It is slowly. And then you're renders fat right so that is large and then ASEAN thought when you're making teacher on the skin and you're buying it in large then at the bottom you will some pieces and beats over. You know the fat told and that's why it's colored it has it has color to the. You're not open a Tortilla. Like freshly made handmade of course and then you put a little bit of a layer of that and then you eat it with your meal Let's talk about the Tortilla for second in Oaxaca. According to a tee I guess in northern Mexico it's a wheat Tortilla but the tortillas in Oaxaca almost could pass for a week Tortilla. They're very fine. They're very tender. They're nothing like would you get here? So is that because you use different kinds of corn is the process differ. Why are they so much better a little bit of favorite thing? I is the the taste that they still do. Heirloom Cornyn in Mexico. Roy is one so sometimes. You taste the TORTILLAS here in United States. Then they're like sweet so that is wrong. Sorry that is like super wrong so that was one of the things that when we moved to the states and I began to as a Dorothy. Yes here like no by no means. I will be able to serve this in their restaurant every neighbor so you know thank God. We found now corn from Mexico many times from Oaxaca directly and so we proceeded in house and then we grind it. What would you like to tell me about the way you cook that? I don't understand. Well I guess you think that I have problem whether you notice plane. The people You know one is Mexican. Food is not necessarily too spicy. I mean depends on the taste of the taste. Parts of the person but general is just about the flavors The other one is it. People that have had through the years coming to restaurant. Said like this is not Mexican food. I mean for years. We didn't have a flour tortillas in the restaurant in is like oh no but this is not a not as well. How can I explain you? You know that the corner two years is the basic you know and it is your of the also very delicate flavors so those things I think is the what I would like people to understand better about Mexican Food

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