chef: francisco gallardo
location: mezcal's, reading, pa
recipe: shrimp piquin
In New York, I cooked both Italian and French, so I have been influenced by those traditions, but my early influences of course were Mexican.
Where did you learn to cook?
My father taught me to cook.
My head. I don't really use cookbooks.
What's the one ingredient you couldn't live without?
Mesquite. To get the smoky fiery taste.
Favorite music to listen to while cooking?
Ranchera music from Mexico.
Favorite Microbrew beer or wine?
I like to drink Corona.
Favorite type of food?
Mexican of course.
Most memorable meal?
I don't have a particular one in mind but can remember many weddings and important meals where mole poblano was served. Mole is the dish for important occasions.
Most memorable dinner guest?
Recently a local politician came in to the restaurant. No very famous people.
Most irritating celebrity chef?
I don't really keep up with them. No real Mexican food.
What makes indie food better?
At the big chains, everything is all arranged from above, there is no creativity or room for invention in the kitchen.