A new wave of plant-based Mexican cuisine


Over the past few years, a handful of chefs across North America have begun redefining plant-based Mexican cuisine. At Lick It Up in El Paso and Austin, Texas, Edgar Delfín, 38, serves traditional frontier dishes like flautas stuffed with potatoes and beans, as well as vegan variations like chorizo ​​burritos ​of soy and mushrooms. At their Xochitl Vegan restaurant in Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights neighborhood, Stephanie Villegas and Dino Ponce, both 33, fill their tacos with pickled hibiscus flowers and whip up decadent carnitas – Michoacán’s signature pork dish – by frying crispy and fibrous enoki mushrooms in grape seeds. and avocado oils. And in New York, restaurant and masa grinder For All Things Good serves triangular pockets of masa called tetelas, stuffed with black beans and epazote, alongside comal-crised sopes (round dishes of masa with pinched edges) garnished of wild mushrooms. stir-fried in mezcal. For her menu at East Village Etérea mezcal and tequila bar, 27-year-old Southern California native Xila Caudillo recently launched dishes like elote corn ribs – crispy, sweet brackets of yellow corn sprinkled of smoked paprika – and an ingenious tostada that replaces the translucent sheaths of tuna with gems of dried crushed tomatoes with tamari and seaweed.

Vegetable-based cooking is not new to Mexican cuisine; it has deep roots in indigenous cultures and a strong presence in Mexico City’s culinary identity. For the past few years, trendy neighborhoods like Roma and Condesa have been home to explicitly vegan taquerias such as La Pitahaya, where tortillas enriched with amaranth and sesame are colored fuchsia with beetroot juice and loaded with curry potatoes. or hibiscus pibil. But vegetable-based antojitos (literally “little cravings”) are as ubiquitous as their meaty counterparts at street stalls that produce squash blossom quesadillas and football-shaped masa pancakes called tlacoyos, stuffed with black beans or mashed favas and topped with nopales, salsa and an optional burst of cheese. Some of the metro area’s most compelling vegetable-based dishes come not from vegan kitchens, but rather from restaurants like Expendio de Maíz in Colonia Roma, and Xoletongo, which is a 90-minute drive east of the city of Tlaxcala, which are inspired by the traditions of rural communities for whom expensive meat remains an important but often secondary part of their diet. In these places, meat-based moles are often overshadowed by the fundamental ingredients of Mesoamerican agriculture: corn and squash; beans and peppers; wild greens and stuffed mushrooms. Dishes like these are not meant to be innovative, but they have begun to expand perceptions, particularly in the United States, of what constitutes Mexican cuisine – and, by extension, the depth and diversity of Mexican identity itself. -Michael Snyder

Although showboating glam rockers have long flirted with nail art — a practice that may date back to 3200 BC, when soldiers in southern Babylon were said to have worn gold manicure sets — today’s men seem have embraced digital embellishment on a more sustained basis. Last year, musicians Tyler, the Creator; Kelly machine gun; Harry Styles; and Lil Yachty have each launched gender-neutral nail polish collections (Tyler’s Golf le Fleur line includes a glitter option in a flower bottle; Styles’ Pleasing features shades such as Inky Pearl and Granny’s Pink Pearls). Yet such entrepreneurial ventures should come as no surprise, as flamboyance has always found its way into nail art. Designer Marc Jacobs has flaunted a variety of looks on his fingers by New York-based nail artist Mei Kawajiri, from crystal-edged blue opals (to match his bejeweled vape pen) to Art Nouveau-inspired homages to queer pioneers Sylvia Rivera and Stormé DeLarverie. Rappers ASAP Rocky and ASAP Ferg revealed nails with hand-painted renderings of Frankenstein and Dennis Rodman, while Puerto Rican trap sensation Bad Bunny showed nails covered in dominoes on a magazine cover last fall. No one, of course, does it quite like Lil Nas X, who recently sported a diamond manicure with matching grills that cost the rapper $58,000. Nails for everyone? At least in theory. —Nick Haramis

In the Hermès universe, the silk square can be a window on a whole world. The house is the first square (French for “square”) was launched in 1937, and over the decades that followed created more than 2,500 designs, all handcrafted. This season, the French illustrator Ugo Bienvenu (who has collaborated on several occasions with Hermès) has imagined a scarf representing a promenade by the sea, where bathers gather in the surf and frolic on an enormous chessboard. The artist has cited legendary Japanese animator and director Hayao Miyazaki as an influence and, indeed, Welcome’s shorts and drawings are a visual feast – in this case, as densely populated as a “Where’s Waldo” book. – with a sci-fi sensibility more in line with that of French artist Jean Giraud (otherwise known as Moebius). Yet with just a few twists or folds, Welcome’s magical world can be hidden in plain sight, revealing the subtle beauty of an intricate prop. $435, hermes.com. —Jameson Montgomery

In the 18th century, wines from the Azorean islands of Pico and Faial (now part of Portugal) were so coveted that Thomas Jefferson, then US Minister to France, ordered bottles from the region – despite its access to French wines. In the late 1800s, viticulture on the islands was devastated by disease, but today the Azores Wine Society is one of many passionate producers reviving these rare, acidic varietals, whose flavors you can taste. one in the company’s five newly opened locations. – hostel suite (with adjoining two-room apartment) on Pico overlooking the Atlantic. The Brutalist-inspired building, with its black basalt facade, is as striking as the lunar landscape that surrounds it. As well as enjoying wine tastings, you can enjoy a meal of modern tapas, including grilled limpets and sashimi made with freshly caught amberjack. Rooms starting around $230, [email protected]. —Gisela Williams


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