After many plates were served and many Casamigos margaritas drunk, the 10th-floor restaurant descended into a late-night Salsa club with dancers Carlos de la Cruz giving pointers with an Afro-Latino soundtrack by live percussionist and Cuban maestro Timbalero Mr Randy Lester Hechavarria.
Before the fiesta went underway, we caught up with Chef Fernando to chat about ancestral recipes, chalupas, and the fine delicacy of every ingredient he cooks with.
Where I was born, in the northern mountains of Puebla, there is the great similarity of cold weather and rainy afternoons, and for the same reason, great produce. The admirable difference is the great multicultural wealth in London.What ingredients do you think are currently underrated or underappreciated in Mexican cuisine?
There is a new wave of cooks who seek to take each ingredient and dignify it as if it were a fine delicacy, this adds high value to our kitchen. There are ingredients that have not yet been used due to lack of awareness, but our task is to make them known.
"There is a new wave of cooks who seek to take each ingredient and dignify it as if it were a fine delicacy."
I hope people will try to understand that Mexican cuisine, particularly from Puebla, relies on recipes established by our ancestors, a rich repertoire of ingredients and evolving knowledge and techniques.
How do you balance honoring traditional flavors and techniques whilst incorporating new and innovative elements in your restaurants?
We have always believed that without tradition there would be no innovation. Traditional flavors and techniques are the basis of any cuisine in the world, and from there we can start creating new dishes. The key is to try different things when you travel— try and listen to other people, to how they prepare their dishes, so you create your own ideas of how you can cook a specific ingredient.
Aside from Moyuelo, where do you like to eat out in Puebla?
Puebla is one of the regions in Mexico with the greatest diversity of dishes. There are many places, restaurants and street food stalls, where we can find many of my favourite dishes: cemitas, chalupas, arab tacos and the traditional mole poblano is something that everyone needs to try.
The role of eating three times a day is very important, it usually brings together co-workers during the week and family on weekends. Mexican society has a very rich culture, there can be several dishes from anywhere in the country on a single table.
This is your second time in London cooking, what have been your favourite restaurants to dine at?
It's the Beef Wellington, for its technical complexity and its beauty on the plate.