Is "chef-DJ" the new "model-DJ?"
Soft-spoken Enrique Olvera, Mexico City culinary heavyweight—best known for Pujol, which was named among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2017 and featuried on Netflix’s docu-series Chef’s Table—is apparently a man of many talents. At his lesser-known restaurant Manta, in Cabo San Lucas, he’s going to be spinning tracks on February 8.
This is a first for the renowned chef, and there’s no word yet what he’ll be playing that night. He’ll be sharing the stage with two other DJs, and the event will be the after party for a dinner he’s hosting. Unlike Pujol or his New York City restaurant Cosme—which was also named among 2017’s World’s 50 Best—Manta draws upon Pacific Rim influences, fitting given its seaside locale on Mexico’s westernmost edge. The daily menu boasts whispers of Hawaii and Japan, with appetizers straddling the line between sashimi and aguachile, bright with acid and layered with soy sauce.
There’s yakitori with pineapple purée, and a poké-esque scallop course with shiso and avocado. There’s nopales with togarashi—a chili-laden spice blend—and ramen with pasilla chiles. The special menu for the 8th will also feature an island-style suckling pig in a steamed bao-type bun.
This is a departure from what most people know Olvera’s cuisine to be, which is a contemporary take on heirloom ingredients through a traditionally Mexican lens. He’s probably best known for his 300-day-aged moles and corn husk meringues with corn mousse; both were featured on season two of Netflix’s Chef’s Table. After Cosme’s success in New York—Obama was a fan, by the way—Olvera is set to open a location in L.A. this year. He was one of the first contemporary Mexican chefs to break through big-time in the U.S., and thus far probably holds the title for being the most well known.
At Manta, Olvera will be championing another culinary facet of Mexico that’s gotten increasing international recognition in the past several years—Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe wine region. The February 8th dinner will feature wines from Monte Xanic winery, which cultivates Merlot, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.