This is an actual real answer I gave a bride in our email exchange. I figure I should leave it as it was really emailed. You can see our style of service and also, how to select a Mexican Menu with our available chefs and ingredients. So take a look and enjoy. Email me if you have more questions of how to book a wedding or menu.
Email to Bride for January 2019 Wedding answering Danielle how to select her menu for her tasting:
Are you guys foodies? If you are then just describe your favorite food or what type of dishes and appetizers you want and what style of presentation represents your vibe the best way. If you are not too familiar with culinary dishes and verbiage, let me guide you below amigos. These points below are all based on Mexico menu. You can of course have any dish you can think of; all the classic dishes like surf and turf, baked fish, steak soups, etc. that you have seen in any nice restaurant in the USA you may like.
Proteins available: Beef, Pork, fish, shrimp or chicken or lamb. *For 5 dollars more per person we can do Lobster, Jumbo Shrimp or Scallops.
Passed Appetizers: For the starter course I would try to really show guests our Mexican culinary diversity. You can have a seafood, a farm, a veggie and a soup popper (shrimp popper for example which is a mini-shrimp broth shot or a cold version like bloody Mary with Shrimp or clam juice. You can do hard shell tacos (deep fried tortilla), Shrimp beach k-bobs, mini tamales (we can even dye the leafs of the tamales with your favorite colors etc. We tend to show street food vibe in the passed appetizers section. Because if you are eating standing up, you are basically eating like any other Mexican on the street food stands!
The dinner starter course, or second course if you do 4 courses, can be a soup or salad or appetizer:
Soups: In January you can go with even a cream milk/butter based and heavy with starch (chowders and creams are examples). Although on the coast we are more about clear broth based soups which are lighter, we call these “caldos”. A traditional soup is Shrimp, pork, beef or chicken broth soups or caldos.
You can also have a stew like dish like Pozole with heavy amounts of protein and veggies mixed in; I stron
gly suggest if you do offer a pozole, you do a starter small cup of it or serve it as a main dish. Pozoles are like the Stews in the US. I would love for you to try one but maybe it can be in your rehearsal dinner 🙂 Anyway, caldos or creams are available and you can decide what to go with there amigos.
Appetizers: Same as passed apps, but a bit larger and you can use fork and
spoons so we can have the traditional dishes like an avocado stuffed with ceviche and served with tostadas, or try a real Oaxaca Pork or chicken tamal, or a stuffed Poblano pepper or a stuffed guar chile, etc. I try to think of the next dish and not repeat the protein or style of dish. Grilled Nopal (Cactus) and cheese, or even stick shrimp (Kbobs)…
Salads: Mexican fruits and veggies and cheeses is so much better than in the USA. As far as the flavors go. So any salad I would go with would have cheese. For example a three types of cheese salad with an avocado vinaigrette or fruit (mango or strawberry etc) vinaigrette. All local. As far as a “local dish” salad is not our thing in Mexico. But cheese such as Panela and Fresco cheeses and Oaxaca cheese and others are indigenouse to Mexico. So I would showcase these in a Cactus Salad (Nopal asado con Panela o Fresco grilled cheese) or in your appetizers in the stuffed peppers (not spicy peppers)
Protein of choice for main dish: Beef, Pork, fish, shrimp or chicken or lamb. *For 5 dollars more per person we can do Lobster, Jumbo Shrimp or Scallops.
Cooking methods available: Baked, Grilled, Braised, sautéed or fried.
Seafood: Fish dishes that are most popular are fried or baked or grilled. Sarandeado, which is a basted BBQ style fish Caribbean or African Jerk style in case you have had that :), is very popular on the beach. Fried fish (Not US style though, just fried in butter sauces or garlic sauce. No full of breading. Not deep fried. Same with shrimp or scallops or any seafood.
From the Farm: Beef/Pork/Lamb/Chicken braised dishes or grilled are the two most popular ways to cook these proteins. A stew or braise, called birria, any protein braised in a Mole. Mole is a sauce based in multiple ingredients like a Masala in Indian food. Flavors are literally hundreds. Typical mole is rojo, negro, verde or Poblano (the Sweet chocolate one). Basically mole is a gravy or reduction based in spices and peppers.
Even a simple Half Chicken will be very special and different from a USA chicken. A locally farmed chicken grilled over charcoal and wood fire is out of this world delicious. You will see these on the streets all over the place. We use local families who grow their chickens in their own little back yard farms. I can with time, order the chickens ahead of time. Old school.
We then marinate them a bit in their achiote brine (Paprika blend) and grill over wood and charcoal fire. That alone is awesome. It is a staple food for workers all over and we can serve this with small potatoes and tortillas and Mexican rice. It is up to your taste and style. A roasted (oven cooked) chicken is actually a very difficult dish to make properly and delicious, specially when it is a free range chicken like in Mexico that taste totally different than USA chickens.
I suggest for a one time dish for guests out side of a hotel, I would really try and showcase our local cuisine with a guajillo based shrimp dish or a pork (Mole or birria short rib) or go with a fresh fish filet either baked or capeado (egg washed and flour) like you see in “chile rellenos” as we call it. And served with rice and guacamole as in any beach restaurant. I would go with pork ribs braised until they come off the bone. We call these costillitas de puerco en salsa verde o roja. Serve these with fresh made tortillas on site. Not
My personal philosophy is not not try and impress an American with a steak 🙂 Or a hamburger, or anything they can compare or recognize from back home. I would want them to experience a mouthwatering culture shock. Without going too crazy with really crazy dishes like tongue or menudo 🙂 I know they may not be ready for that. But we have so many dishes that they can try and will find that not everything is breaded and deep fried when it comes to fish or shrimp 🙂 Or that we actually have Moles that rival any Masala or Chasseur sauce, and so on. You can always go to a french restaurant or a steak house in San Fran or Dallas. But I promise your guests will be hard pressed to find Camaron al guajillo or Costillitas en Salsa Verde. Or Grilled fresh, line caught Red Snapper or Sea Bass, without breaking the bank!
Starches: Rice and Beans of course. Roasted or fried Potatoes. Variety of rice (arborio or long grain) like cilantro, Mexican, Garlic, Corn and rice blend. Beans are varied as well: Charro, refried with pork lard or not, with pork belly lardons or not, refried or stewed, you decide. Black or pinto or even Lima Beans. Potatoes are always a classic, mashed, broiled, baked, fried, scalloped,etc.
Fruits and Veggies: Any North American vegetable or fruit you can think of I can promise we can find and grow locally. Personally I love grilled veggies tossed in a butter-achiote sauce. Like a San Francisco spice blend for example. you can have steamed veggie medley as well tossed in a butter sauce. A guacamole a la Mexicana with fresh deep fried tortillas as your side served along with Spanish rice for example or a white rice is a classic. Traditional veggies like corn, broccoli, carrots and California medley of veggies, etc. are all available. Fried or grilled pineapple for sweet sour contract to a meat dish or fishy dish for example…
Remember Avocado is cheap and absolutely delicious so don’t be afraid to impress your guests with avocado on top of rice, so good; All those veggies and fruits that are so expensive and lacking in flavor int he USA 🙂 we probably have them here locally. Coconut, avocado, limes, nopales (cactus), Mangoes, and more.
Desserts: Amigos mios, this is such a fun category. You can have a served dessert like any restaurant would. Or an action station (real time cooking/baking) with desert options your guests can go get themselves like Churros for example. Or serve a tray on the table with an assortment of Mexican special treats. Or a cup cake table. Etc.
I cannot remember if you have a designer cake in mind as a traditional cake cutting which is always fun. But if you want a dessert course that pops! I love to show guests our churro master and my homemade ice cream man, or show them our traditional tres leches cake (three milk cake), flan (a delicious custard). Or you can have coconut cocadas or a dessert bar with traditional Mexican candies and let them choose from the dessert/candie bar.
We can set it up a tray in front of your guests and let them select from the assortment of local sweet breads and have hot Mexican cocoa. I mean it literally can be so much fun. Banana Flambeé with plantains or bananas fired up and served with brandy and cinnamon and so on.
Let us know your ideas and style of food you would like. We will create a menu accordingly and in April you will sit down and try it all in person until you are absolutely sure the menu is perfect for you 🙂
I hope you like these ideas amigos. I am sorry I went off on this but it is my main passion 😉 I just know that besides the service and our venue, our culinary entertainment is your most important feature of your wedding and I want you to fully understand all your possibilities. We are much more than just a hotel or commercial kitchen. We can create, and will create, a culinary masterpiece for your guests that they will be speaking of for years to come.
Thank you and I am here if you have any other questions about the menu. About the decor that is Veronica and Maite and Marisol’s department 🙂 You do not want me messing with your table settings and flowers 🙂 haha. Just the food and bar 😉