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Diego Hernandez supper club at Wahaca Covent Garden

Last week, we were incredibly lucky to welcome another of Mexico’s most talented chefs to our Covent Garden kitchen as our #CulinaryTrip tour of Mexico’s regions hit Baja California.

If you weren’t able to make it along to our supper club, then there’s good news – We’re serving a menu of very special dishes inspired by the night and the regions cooking in our Covent Garden for the next 8 weeks, so you’ll still have a chance to grab a bite of Baja.

Wednesday night’s supper club, powered by those amazing curators of foodie adventures, Grub Club, saw Diego Hernadez, head chef of Corazon de Tierra restaurant in Ensenada, taking charge of the grills and his food was certainly worth the trip.

Diego hanging with the boss
Diego hanging with the boss

Diego’s cooking has seen him pick up multiple awards including being listed in San Peligrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America for the past 2 years, and with good reason. Starting diners off with a salad of vegetables foraged in North London, with an avocado leaf vinaigrette, before plating up sustainably caught British mackerel in a light tomato sauce with sorrel and lemon set the bar high.

Tamal Colado with Wood Pigeon and Mole Amarillo
Tamal Colado with Wood Pigeon and Mole Amarillo

Tamales are traditionally a light corn dough, hiding a delicious filling and Diego’s was most probably the finest we’ve ever tried, which is saying something, because tamales are something we’ve had no shortage of over the years! Using lightly spiced wood pigeon breast and a yellow mole sauce with sour cream and charred herb ash saw a few jaws hitting the floor.

Venison in ash with Caldillo de carne
Venison in ash with Caldillo de carne

A beautifully seared venison loin in a typical Baja style stock, followed by one of Corazon de Tierra’s signature deserts, a truffle spiked cream with spinach chlorophyll, radish, caramel panna cotta and balsamic finished the meal with just as much panache as it had started.

With a local craft ale scene on a par with beer making’s global hotspots, Baja isn’t just about the food, so in honour of this we asked our head bar man, Chris to come up with a suitably sip-able drop and his Lupulo and Elderflower beer cocktail, made with our own Brixton Brewery brew, Lupulo, and a Calle 23’s blanco tequila went down so well that it might just become a regular feature on our cocktail list soon.

Calle 23

Our Culinary Trip is all about showcasing the amazing variety of Mexico’s cuisine and we hope Diego’s meal followed supper clubs with Alejandro Ruiz and Roberto Solis in doing just that. Bringing the best examples of what Mexico has to offer to Covent Garden where our adventures first began.

Over the next few months, we’ll be taking the #CulinaryTrip to Mexico City before a truly unmissable opportunity to taste the culinary stylings of the one and only Enrique Olvera, as he brings the food that’s made his restaurant, Pujol the 16th best in the world, to our Day of the Dead festival on November 7th. If you’d like to join us for Enrique’s supper club, you can pre-register your details to be first to hear about our Day of the Dead festival here: www.wahaca.co.uk/dotd15

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Diego Hernandez and Tommi Miers bring the best of Baja California to Wahaca Covent Garden

Anyone who’s got their ear to the ground of what’s hot in Mexican cuisine right now can’t have failed to hear the screams of excitement coming from ecstatic diners in the North West of Mexico, as they tuck into Baja California’s coastal culinary delights.

Don't miss this man cooking up your supper. Baja style.
Don’t miss this man cooking up your supper. Baja style.

We want to bring you guys a bit of that action, so for the next leg of our #CulinaryTrip tour of Mexico’s foodie hotspots, we’re inviting Diego Hernandez, arguably the most exciting and talented chef in the area, to bring the flavours of his restaurant, Corazon de Tierrra, (currently voted number 20 in San Pelligrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America), to our Covent Garden kitchen for this one night event. And we want to see you down there.

 

On Wednesday June 10th, Diego and Tommi will be cooking a supper club for 200 guests lucky enough to bag a ticket, with a menu that brings the best of Baja and Ensenada to Covent Garden. Starting off with a vegetable salad with wild nettles and avocado leaf vinaigrette and mackerel entomatadas with watercress, sorrel and lemon, the dishes will showcase Diego’s reinvented Ensenada classics. The menu highlight is a tamal stuffed with wild wood pigeon, yellow mole and dehydrated parsnip. To finish there’s a truffle cream with spinach chlorophyll, radish, caramel and balsamic. Yes Please.

To buy your tickets click here to visit our Grub Club page and hit ‘Book Now’ to register.

Diego's cooking at Corazon de Tierra.
Diego’s cooking at Corazon de Tierra.

 

Anyone who’s not able to make it along on the night, all is not lost. From the 12th June and for 8 weeks after the supper club, we’ll be serving a special regional menu that’s inspired by Diego’s cooking and the Baja California region, stuffed full of new surprises for your taste buds.

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Exclusive 8 week Yucatecan specials menu launches in Covent Garden

Gastronomic adventurers take note, we’re taking your tastebuds on a tour of Mexico and our #CulinaryTrip has reached its second stop off – The Yucatán Peninsula.

Exclusively available in our Covent Garden kitchen, and for 8 weeks only, we’ve created a Yucatecan menu to show off the finest from the region with help and inspiration from its vast coastline and diverse cultural mix, alongside ideas we picked up at last week’s supper club with Roberto Solis.

The Yucatecan line up

Following in the footsteps of the peninsula’s historical visitors, our Yucatecan Kibbeh is a crispy pumpkin seed and cracked wheat dumpling, not dissimilar from a Lebanese falafel and served up with a charred habanero salsa and citrusy habanero laced cherry tomato salad.

Yucatecan Kibbeh w/ charred habanero salsa and tomato salad
Yucatecan Kibbeh w/ charred habanero salsa and tomato salad

A Yucatecan menu wouldn’t be complete with offerings from the sea. Our scallop and prawn ‘coctel’ comes with a refreshing, delicately spiced chilled tomato and orange sauce studded with sustainable scallops and MSC prawns, avocado, cucumber and celery with our grilled tostadas to give a welcome crunch.

Scallop and prawn coctel with grilled tostadas
Scallop and prawn coctel with grilled tostadas

Our Welsh fisherfriends have come to our aide supplying incredibly flavoured, sustainably caught sea bass, which we’re grilling up Tikin Xic style, in an achiote marinade with crunchy slaw and a citrusy mayo, in a pair of large tacos.

Sea Bass tacos Tikin Xic style
Sea Bass tacos Tikin Xic style

Already proving to be a contender for the top spot, we’re chargrilling half a baby chicken with pumpkin seed and citrus Sikil Pak dip. It comes alongside grilled asparagus and corn, tossed in burnt butter.  It’s next level stuff.

Blackened baby chicken w/ Sikil Pak dip
Blackened baby chicken w/ Sikil Pak dip

Finish off, (We’re ignoring the final tequila course) with a soft velvety vanilla panna cotta which is topped with a bright passion fruit sauce with a touch of a very Mayan guanabana liqueur. Stick that alongside a highly sip-able glass of the same Huana guanabana liqueur over ice and things are looking pretty much summertime-on-the-beach-in-Tulum. Happy ending.

Vanilla, passion fruit and guanabana panna cotta
Vanilla, passion fruit and guanabana panna cotta

We hope you’ll take the chance to grab a true taste of The Yucatan in the next 8 weeks, before the #CulinaryTrip moves on.

To view the menu click here.

Thanks to the multi-talented Haydee Noble for these photos.

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The Yucatan Peninsula by way of Covent Garden

Last night, a little bit of Yucatecan magic was made in our original Covent Garden kitchen. It was the second stop in our #CulinaryTrip supper club series, where we’re taking you on a tour of Mexico’s finest culinary regions, inviting the country’s most ground-breaking chefs over to London to cook their region’s finest fare and showcase the amazing diversity that the motherland has to offer.

Tommi was joined in the kitchen by a true leader of the New Yucatecan Cuisine, Roberto Solis, whose Nectar restaurant in Merida produces award winning, world class gastronomy, taking classic local ingredients and giving them a molecular twist. In the past he’s been seen cooking for stints in restaurants such as Noma and The Fat Duck. It’s safe to say he knows his way around a saucepan.

Tommi and Roberto
He took the opportunity to try out some brand new dishes on our awaiting guests including some intriguing dishes, such as sweet onions in a jet black recardo negro tempura batter which he served nestled amongst lumps of carbon with a Xcatic chile mayo.  The theme of Yucatecan ingredients reached through to a langoustine salbute starter and bone in pork chop with oregano pipian.

Pork Chop
If you weren’t able to make it along to the supper club last night, fear not, it was just the beginning of our stop off in The Yucatán Peninsula and from Friday 17th April, our Covent Garden restaurant will be exclusively offering a regional Yucatán inspired menu, for 8 weeks only. Highlights on our Yucatecan menu include a scallop and prawn coctel with grilled corn tostadas, tikin xic style sea bass tacos using a classic citrusy marinade and a vanilla panna cotta with passion fruit and guanabana liqueur.

This is one trip you just don’t want to miss.

Yucatecan Summer Squash

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Next stop on our Culinary Trip – Yucatán via Covent Garden

Following the popularity of the first stop on our 2015 Cuilnary Trip around the regions of Mexico, it’s almost time for our Covent Garden menu to move on from Oaxaca to The Yucatán Peninsula and tickets for our 1 night only supper club, to kick start this Yucatecan season, with Roberto Solis and Thomasina Miers are on sale RIGHT HERE now.

On 14th April, we’ll be handing our Covent Garden kitchen over to Roberto Solis, known as being the leader of New Yucatecan cuisine, who will join Tommi in showcasing the incredible range of ingredients and flavours the region benefits from, combining traditional recipes from the Yucatán region with the modern ideas and techniques that have made his restaurant, Nectar, world famous.

Roberto Solis

His menu for the night brings a taste of this New Yucatecan cuisine to Covent Garden with dishes such as Onions in black tempura served with a burnt xcatic mayonnaise and Langoustine and sweet breads salbut with Papadzul sauce, salsa verde. Following which the Covent Garden team will be serving a Berkshire pork chop with plantain ribbons, Yucatecan oregano pipian with cured honey onions and a dessert of Coconut pie, fried rosemary & rosemary ashes. To add to the flavour of the evening, our good friends at Olmeca Altos Tequila will also be on hand to shake a few cocktails and introduce guests to their 100% agave tequila. With only 100 tickets available, they’ll not hang around for long, so grab yours pronto.

To buy your tickets click here to visit our Grub Club page and hit ‘Book Now’ to register.

 

Roberto's new Yucatecan Cuisine, in all it's flavourful glory
Roberto’s new Yucatecan Cuisine, in all it’s flavourful glory

 

The supper club is just one way that you can get a taste of The Yucatán, and those not able to join us on the night can drop in to Covent Garden from Friday the 17th April when we’ll be serving an exclusive Yucatecan Regional Specials menu, inspired by Roberto’s cooking, for 8 weeks only.

Hope to see you down there.

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Highlights from our Oaxacan supper club with Alejandro Ruiz

A few weeks ago, we took our Covent Garden restaurant on the first step of a pretty cool trip around our favourite regions of Mexico. Throughout 2015 we’re throwing the doors of our original kitchen open to some of Mexico’s best known, highly-awarded, creative and influential chefs by hosting a series of 1-night-only supper clubs to introduce you to a whole new set of dishes and flavours that hide in amongst the corners of the Mexican Motherland.

First up, was one of Wahaca’s oldest and best friends and the guy who we think of as the godfather of cooking in the state that gave us our name, Alejandro Ruiz from the state of Oaxaca. 200 of you were lucky enough to grab tickets that sold out in under 3 hours, and had the chance to taste probably the finest Oaxacan dishes that London has ever seen. Here’s how it went…

 

The menu was created by Alejandro using dishes from his incredibly well respected Casa Oaxaca restaurant and his newly opened Mexico City restaurant Guzina Oaxaca, which 2 weeks earlier had been described by Time Magazine as one of the 11 best new restaurants in the world. No small feat for Tommi and our amazing crew of chefs to help him recreate on the night.

Hoja Santa taquitos with Frijoles and Queso Oaxaca
Hoja Santa taquitos with Frijoles and Queso Oaxaca

Dishes showed off the amazing diversity and sparklingly beautiful flavours of the region, and ranged from Hoja Santa leaves stuffed with Oaxacan cheese and chapulines (grasshoppers), to pan seared Welsh sea bass with a herb and cactus mole verde, and confit suckling pig with a spiced fruity Tehuano sauce from the Isthmus de Tehuantepec region.

Alejandro Ruiz Thomasina Miers Covent Garden Supper Club Oaxaca
Confit suckling pig with a spiced fruity Tehuano sauce

It’s safe to say, socks were blown clean off.

If Oaxacan cuisine sounds like it’s for you, then you can still grab a taste of the action. Head into our Covent Garden restaurant before 12th April, where we’re serving a Regional Specials Menu inspired by Alejandro’s cooking. Check it out here.

The next stop on Our Culinary Trip is The Yucatan Peninsula, and we’re hugely excited to have one of Mexico’s most well-known chefs, Roberto Solis coming over to cook with Tommi on the 14th April 2015. Roberto is known as the leader of the “New Yucatecan Cuisine” having worked in some of the world’s leading kitchen’s including Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and at Noma with René Redzepi and he promises to bring the true taste of his home region to Covent Garden with his own personal flair in a night not to be missed. Tickets will be on sale soon right here on our blog, but if you’d like to pre-register your interest in grabbing a much sought after ticket to the event on the 14th, drop an email to ola@wahaca.co.uk (Pop Roberto Solis in the subject line),

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Wahaca wins for insect eating innovation at the 2015 SRA Awards

We’re over the moon to pick up The Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Innovation award for championing the sustainability of Enotomophagy, or insect eating, at today’s SRA  Awards.

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It’s great news for us and the planet as more of us join the 80% of the world’s population who already consider eating insects as a normal part of their diet and help to reduce the pressure on more traditional meat supplies.

Chapulines SRA Award Sustainability
Tommi and our Chapulines Fundido at Wahaca Southbank

 

If you’re thinking the idea of eating a grasshopper sounds a bit gross, honestly we can’t blame you, generally insects aren’t something that are a normal part of our diets in The UK. But take a moment to ponder why we think of them so differently to prawns, shrimps or lobster which are all arthropods and seriously tasty.

 

If you haven’t tried them already, we’re currently serving a few dishes using the hugely popular Mexican ingredient, chapulines, or grasshoppers, so come down and tuck into our Chapulines Fundido from our Street food specials menu, or our Chorizo and Chapulines Memela exclusively available on our Covent Garden Oaxacan Regional Specials Menu.
Chapulines are particularly popular in the Oaxaca region, from where we took our name, and earlier this month, Tommi and Oaxacan super-chef, Alejandro Ruiz got busy in the kitchen cooking up a chorizo and chapulines memela for the more adventurous of you to try recreating at home. Here’s how…

Please do continue to vote on twitter to let us know what you think of the chapulines, with either #ChapulinYES or #ChapuliNO depending on which way you swing.

The good news is, it’s a big #ChapulinYES from the SRA.

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Our Brand New Regional Oaxacan Menu Launches at Wahaca Covent Garden

After the huge excitement of cooking with one of Mexico’s finest and most renowned chefs, Alejandro Ruiz on Tuesday evening, our original Covent Garden restaurant will be offering an exclusive menu, dedicated to his home region, and the state that gave us our name, Oaxaca.

The menu will be available for 8 weeks only from Wednesday evening and has been designed by Tommi and our development team to highlight the finest ingredients from the region, showcasing how lip-smackingly sumptuous eating in Southern Mexico can really get.

Here’s what’s on offer…

Oaxaca Menu

The dishes are available alongside your favourites from the Wahaca menu, so feel free to order 1 or more, to share or be selfish with.

The menu uses traditional salsas, moles and cooking methods that you’ll find across the Oaxaca state including venison fillet with an incredibly rich spiced fruit sauce from the Isthmus de Tehuantepec region and our own home made dark Oaxacan mole alongside the meltingly tender beef short rib.

Roast vegetable pipian

Fans of our recent campaign to get the sustainable practice of entomophagy (that’s insect eating) into British diets can give our Chorizo and Chapulines memela a try, and see if the nuttiness of crumbled grasshoppers gets you voting #ChapulinYES or #ChapuliNO. If you’re able to resist Tommi’s Chocolate brownie with burnt salted Mezcal caramel and clotted cream, you’re stronger willed than we are, and to be completely honest, you’re probably doing something wrong. It’s going to blow your mind.

We’d love to hear what you think about our interpretation of dishes from the Oaxaca state, so please tweet us your thoughts using #CulinaryTrip.

To find out where we’ll be taking you next on our mission around Mexico’s top foodie regions and to hear the latest on our supper club series, keep your eyes peeled on the blog.

Beef Shortrib

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Watch out for our Regional Oaxacan Specials menu, exclusive to Wahaca Covent Garden

Wow. Looks like you guys are big fans of the Oaxaca region and its foodie specialities – Ticket for Tommi and Alejandro Ruiz’s Oaxacan supper club sold out in less than 3 hours. But fear not, there’s still a chance for you to get a taste of the action and try dishes inspired by this very special evening.

Following the amazing demand for tickets, we’ve devised a brand new Regional Oaxacan Specials menu inspired by Alejandro’s cooking and his home region, which will be exclusively available at Wahaca Covent Garden from 11th February for 8 weeks only.

The Regional Oaxacan Specials menu brings a new and exciting level of dishes to our original Covent Garden home, aiming to push our creativity and twist our cooking to give a taste of a more indulgent Mexican cuisine to our Covent Garden customers.

Our development team have been working on Oaxacan dishes like this slow cooked beef short rib in Oaxacan mole. Mmmmm
Our development team have been working on Oaxacan dishes like this slow cooked beef short rib in Oaxacan mole. Mmmmm

Sitting right alongside our well-loved main menu, the Oaxacan specials will be available until April, when they will make way for a new set of specials inspired by Mexico City’s most highly awarded chef, Enrique Olvera, who will be flying over to cook with Tommi in Covent Garden for the second in our Supper Club series as our Culinary trip through Mexico continues.

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Alejandro Ruiz and Tommi Miers’ Supper Club at Wahaca Covent Garden – Tickets now on sale

=====Tickets are now sold out =====

But don’t miss your chance to try our Regional Oaxacan Specials Menu, inspired by Alejandro’s visit, exclusively at Wahaca Covent Garden.

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Following the announcement of our 2015 Mexican super-chef supper club series, tickets are now on sale for our first event, on 10th February, when Tommi and world renowned Mexican chef, Alejandro Ruiz will be cooking up a four course feast of Oaxacan delicacies, in our original Covent Garden home. With only 100 seats available on a first come, first served basis, anyone with a real interest in Mexico and Mexican cooking should grab their tickets, pronto.

To buy your tickets click here to visit our Grub Club page and hit ‘Book Now’ to register

Alejandro’s menu, inspired by his home town and region of Oaxaca will take diners on a 4 course culinary tour of the area, with highlights including Hoja santa taquitos with Oaxacan cheese, Chapulines and fresh salsas; and Suckling pig with guiso tehuano.

Hoja Santa taquitos with Oaxaca Cheese and fresh salsa
Hoja Santa taquitos with Oaxaca Cheese and fresh salsa at Casa Oaxaca

In keeping with the regional menu, we’ll be creating a special Mezcal cocktail for the night and will be on hand to serve up a range of Mezcals paired with the dishes Alejandro is serving. Tickets for this mind-bendingly tasty four course meal are £40 per person, (incl. service), and are available to buy through our supper club partner, Grub Club’s page now. So what are you waiting for? See you down there.

Tommi, Alejandro and a pair of pineapples, back in the day .
Tommi, Alejandro and a pair of pineapples, back in the day .