During the next three months the Skirball Cultural Center may just become the hottest and most exclusive Mexican restaurant in town.
The museum and educational institution is studying the food of Mexico with lectures, cooking demos and, of course, tastings during three separate monthly events featuring three local chefs.
The series is dubbed “Flavors of Mexico.”
It’s happening in conjunction with the Getty-led Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, and it’s all about exploring the different cultures of Mexico through food and discussions about the regional cultures that created those dishes.
It starts Oct. 24 with Gilberto Cetina of the seafood stand Holbox. He’ll be sharing his recipe for Yucatán fish.
“A lot of cultural understanding comes from people gathering around the table. And there’s no question one of the first areas of acceptance is the culinary one,” Shaw said.
Of course, eating the food is the highlight of the event, but Lara Rabinovitch, the series curator, also hopes the experience of seeing L.A chefs talk passionately about Mexican food and its roots will inspire people to look at their own neighborhoods’ diverse offerings.
“I hope that on a greater level it inspires people to not only cook some of that cuisine at home but to also explore their own city,” she said.
Shaw, who was born and raised in Mexico City, is the founder and executive chef of Loteria Grill, which began at the Farmers Market in Los Angeles before expanding to other locations.
During his event at the Skirball, the well-known chef says he wants to explore Mexico City as a place of gathering through the food he’s going to cook and serve.
“If you think about the ingenuity of Mexicans in general and how it applies to their food, there is so much that’s represented about the crossing of cultures through the cuisine of Mexico City or Mexico in general,” he said.
So with that cultural melting pot in mind, Shaw is thinking about serving a soup that would represent the mix of influences in Mexican cuisine.
“Soups are very Mexican, but a lot of the base comes from French influences, from Spanish influences with native ingredients,” he said.
Shaw plans to pair his soup with a talk about the diversity of Mexico City and the international influences that define it.
“People get blown away when they go to Mexico City by how incredible the food…