HOUSTON (KTRK) --It's hot outside but the kitchen at Americas restaurant is cookin'!
Celebrity chefs from Mexico City are in Houston this weekend.
Their work will be on the menu at Américas in River Oaks, Café Annie and Picos. What happens behind the kitchen door though is tough stuff.
"People think being a chef is like being a rock star, but it's not," said Chef Salvador Orozco. "You are smelling food, you have broken hands and people think that, but you need to love this."
The dishes aren't exactly what you might think though. The chefs describe them as Mexican with a little Asian fusion.
"Our food is very provocative, very exciting," said Chef Daniel Ovadia. "Our flavors are very different. Everybody who tastes our food feels some emotions."
The program helps chefs from Houston and Mexico City learn new twists on food. The goal is also to cross-promote the arts, sports, culinary, medical and life sciences to both cities.
The chefs say Houston and Mexico City have many similarities, both are coming into global prominence, they have large populations, huge geographical areas, diverse populations and a growing culinary scene.
"It's an honor to have the chefs here. I also think it cements the partnership Houston has with Mexico City," said Executive Chef of Cordua Restaurants, David Cordua. "Mexico City's food scene is exploding as is ours. The timing is right."
But both cities are dealing with some old stereotypes. "Everybody thinks in Mexico we still have horses, and it's a very cosmopolitan and high end city," Chef Ovadia said.
The chefs say in the past many people traveled to Houston to shop at the Galleria or get medical care in the Houston Med Center. They want to add eating to the Houston bucket list.
"We are very happy to be here. The people are very kind. Everybody is smiling and laughing," Chef Orozco said.
Here's more information on the event, and the background on the guest chefs:
Houston diners will have the opportunity to order special, authentic Mexican menu items over
three days from Thursday, June 30 to Saturday, July 2, at three acclaimed Houston restaurants.
The locations include Américas, the Cordúa family's groundbreaking restaurant known for its Pan Latin
flavors and ingredients; Café Annie, the longtime home of Houston's original celebrity chef
Robert Del Grande, the legendary creative force that revolutionized Southwest cuisine; and
Arnaldo Richards' Picos, where third-generation restaurateur Chef Arnaldo Richards has been
serving and celebrating culinary dishes from the seven regions of Mexico for over 30 years.
The multicourse dinners will be created by three of Mexico City's best-known chefs:
Chef Daniel Ovadía and Chef Salvador Orozco will host at Américas
Since closing their signature restaurant Paxia, Ovadía and Orozco have focused on
expanding their Bull and Tank Restaurant Group. Their portfolio of restaurants includes
Avira, DAO, and Nudo Negro, among others, and highlights their diversity in cuisine.
While both chefs have an overflowing passion for what they do, Chef Ovadía has the
distinction of being the "youngest chef in Mexico."
Chef Victor Cabrera will host at Café Annie
While earning his degree in gastronomy from the Culinary Institute of Mexico, Chef Victor
found his true passion for Panamerican and Mexican cuisine. Today he serves as a
restaurant consultant for multiple projects in Puebla, Playa del Carmen and Mexico City
as well as a coordinator and academic director at the Culinary Institute of Mexico.
Chef Israel Montero will host at Arnaldo Richards' Picos
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Chef Israel studied culinary arts and restaurant
management at the Paul Bocuse Institute in the city of Lyon. After working in Lyon and
later at the prestigious restaurant Alain Ducasse at the Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris,
Montero returned to Mexico to open Kaah Siis restaurant, which has since merged into
Chef Arturo Fernández' Raíz, a concept based on fresh products, modern techniques
and majestic presentations.
This is the second time Mexico City has sent top chefs to Houston as part of a unique
partnership to promote the cross-pollination and two-way travel between Mexico City and
Both cities are experiencing a culinary renaissance with a variety of creative cuisines
and a number of notable chefs attracting visitors. Partnerships like Sabores CDMX help spread
cross-cultural awareness and encourage culinary enthusiasts to explore the sights, sounds, and
flavors of both destinations.
Mexico City is the country's premier tourism destination, welcoming more than 12.5 million
visitors a year.
The ancient capital offers a vibrant, contemporary culture that combines pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern influences that span nearly seven centuries. With more than
150 museums and more than 180 galleries, 30 distinct archaeological and historic sites, the city is a mecca of fine art and treasures that speak to its vast history.
The Mexico City Tourism Trust (Fondo Mixto de Promoción Turística del Distrito Federal) supports and enhances city tourism.
For more information, visit MxCity.mx and for daily updates follow the Facebook page Sabores CDMX, and on Instagram and Twitter @Sabores_CDMX.
Go to #MexicoCityFlavors and #SaboresCDMX on Instagram to post or look at photos of dishes
at Sabores CDMX.