18 years ago, my journey outside of Mexico began, during this time, I have visited my home country many times. But my trip to Mexico in May 2019, was like no other previous visit to my home country. My excitement was through the roof as I was on my way to film a TV show, and to be quite honest, I had no idea what to expect. Over the years, I have shown numerous amount of friends the highlights and secrets of “my Mexico”, but this time I was taking a TV crew around to share my country with the cameras. It sounds easy and straightforward, but there was so much to plan. Similar to almost any TV show you watch, every episode has tons of planning and research to create the best possible content, scenario, background, and many other factors.
No matter how many years I have lived outside Mexico, my Mexican heritage is something that I am very proud of and its with me forever. It was this country that provided me a ‘mestizo’ race and identity – an amalgamation of indigenous and European. In 2009, when I lifted the Mexican flag on the very top of Mt. Everest, I felt like I acquired this responsibility towards Mexico, to make my country and my people proud. That moment made me realise that I was representing it in every place I went and everybody I met. So when Diana and I established La Tortilleria, a burning desire ignited my passion to share what this amazing country has to offer with Australia and worldwide. I still remember the first day La Tortilleria opened its doors, all my friends and neighbors that helped and watched the place being built were there for the opening. A minimum of a hundred people were there and in a few hours, all the food was gone. I had never cooked commercially before, other than for small dinner gatherings and parties at my place. I got to say that I had some of the best days serving customers at the restaurants, the satisfaction itself of knowing that the people leaving La Tortilleria with a big smile, many compliments, and ensuring that they are going to be regulars, gives me enough motivation to invest all of my time, money, and energy, developing my authentic restaurant.
I am not going to lie, the first days after opening were not easy. The word about our amazing La Tortilleria was spreading out and weekends were hectic – and I was still working my 9 to 5 job in the city during the week. Sometimes we will prepare two days in advance for the weekend just to see all the food gone in one night, which meant we will need to start early again the next day. This was our first hospitality experience and there was so much to learn. Nowadays, La Tortilleria is more than a Mexican eatery, we are proud to be the suppliers for the most authentic corn tortillas you could find to the top chefs, Mexican restaurant, and gourmet groceries in Australia and Asia Pacific. It has been an amazing journey from the first day, full of excitement, motivation, obstacles, and achieved milestones.
This is Mexico is a continuation of my ultimate quest to show the world my Mexico, the real, authentic Mexico. And there is no better way to talk about Mexico than introducing its people, the people who kept the traditions alive and shared crafty recipes over centuries. But there is no question that credit is due to all the women in Mexico playing a crucial role; domesticating the first wild corn to safeguarding and passing down the family culinary traditions. I truly believe that this knowledgeable show shines the light on those women working in the shadows with a great opportunity to come out to the light and represent themselves and their major role. This is Mexico provides me with the opportunity to connect with the whole world introducing it real Mexico rather than the commercialised one. The true Mexico that I love and I’m forever proud of.