Friday - November 09, 2007 Share Del.icio.us | Podcast | WineAndDineHawaii.com
Executive Chef, Seor Frog’s, Waikiki.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Mexico City and grew up there. I moved to Cancun to further my culinary career and worked there with Seor Frog’s before coming to Hawaii.
How are you finding life in Hawaii?
Very nice. I love it here - and it’s very exciting both professionally and personally to bring Seor Frog’s to Honolulu.
Most people don’t really think of Seor Frog’s as a place to eat - they’re more interested in having a few drinks, and it certainly has a reputation as a place where people go to have a good time.
(Laughs) Yes, but we do have very good food. It’s truly Mexican food and our entire kitchen staff came to Hawaii from Mexico, so the food is pretty authentic. Many people are surprised when they see and taste the quality of the food.
Are they the same dishes we’d eat in Mexico?
Well, some are. But we made some new dishes for Hawaii including a Kalua Pork Quesadilla, Coconut Shrimp and a shrimp dish which is like a kebob with a Hawaii/Mexican influence.
Have you tried any of the Mexican restaurants in Hawaii?
OK, what’s the biggest difference between the Mexican food here and in Mexico?
Maybe the most important thing is that all of the ingredients we use in Mexico are natural and mostly organic and, of course, fresh. But for most restaurants here it’s just too expensive to bring these kind of ingredients to Hawaii. At home it’s easy to create wonderful food because everything is so fresh.
Anything that surprised you about Mexican food here?
Refried beans that come in a can! We use pinto beans and soak them and then cook them from scratch.
What dish would you recommend people try on their first visit to Seor Frog’s?
The Mexican Volcano Rock Dish (Mol-ka-hay-te) is fantastic. It’s a mortar filled with skirt steak, chicken breast, panela cheese and avocado. We serve our red or green sauce on the side. And the tequila shrimp is excellent.
What did you grow up eating?
My grandmother was a very good cook - I remember her Mexican red rice made with green beans and carrots - and my father always cooked special dishes for the holidays.
Where have you had time to eat in Honolulu?
I love Roy’s - it’s right around the corner from here. And I like Chart House very much.
Anyone special you’d like to cook for?
Robert de Niro - if he wasn’t too busy at Nobu.
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