Peru and Bolivia, originally both part of the Great Inca Empire before the Spanish conquest, holds pride for producing potatoes (with an estimated more than 3,800 varieties), corn and coca leaves, said to have the sufficient nutritious value to end the world’s hunger. The cuisine of both countries is varied and rich in produce from this part of Latin America. Peruvian Food in particular is incredibly diverse with each region and even some cities with their own specialties.
Spicy foods and ethnic cooking is more prevalent in the highlands, suited to the high, cold climate in the altiplano: lots of peppers, aji, and food served picante, spicy hot, although you can request medio picante or poco picante for medium or less hot. In the altiplano, cuisine relies on carbohydrates and protein from potatoes and meats, plus trout (trucha), from Lake Titicaca. In the lowlands, freshwater fish, vegetables, fruits are more popular.
Loraine Segovia Paz of Casa Segovia-Paz will share some of these traditional dishes learned from her family and infused with her own eclectic twist. We will also enjoy traditional drinks from the region including Mate de Coca, a tea brewed from the coca leaf and enjoyed for its energizing properties, and Chicha Morada, a sweet drink made from purple corn brewed with fruit and spices.
When: Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Time: 6 pm to 8 pm
Cost: $40 || Buy Ticket
Argentina is blessed with being a major food producer and exporting significant amounts of beef and grains, especially wheat.
When combined with its strong European influences — particularly Italian and Spanish. Argentine food is truly like no other in South America. Meats and pasta dominate the main courses in almost all regions of the country. The major urban centers are cosmopolitan and combine global menus and fusion dishes under the general label of Nuevo (new) Argentina cuisine with traditional asados, or grilled meats.
Cecilia Gomez native of Resistencia Chaco, Argentina is our own Conexion Americas Outreach Coordinator, will guide us through a two-course menu while enjoying refreshing beverages.
When: Tuesday, August 12/2014
Time: 6 pm to 8 pm
Cost: $40 || Buy Ticket (SOLD OUT). Thank you for your support!
Hungry for more? Next stop: BOLIVIA
Riff’s Mother’s Day Brunch to benefit Conexión Américas
Celebrate Mother’s Day during a delicious and creative locally-sourced buffet sure to make every mom a happy mom. Dishes include Yazoo-braised short ribs, grilled “yard bird,” a biscuit station and Gulf Shrimp, Pork Belly and Smoked Tomato Grits.
Created by the talented Carlos Davis of Riff’s Fine Street Food, the event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Courtyard seating available. Pre-purchase your tickets to reserve your seat! Walk-ins are welcome, but a short wait may be necessary. We are excited to serve you!
$26.50 adults – $12.50 children 10 and under
20% of your ticket price goes to support the work of Conexión Américas
(gratuity not included)
Sunday Brunch Menu
Sorrel Punch & Honey Ginger Green Tea Biscuit Action Station Cinnamon & Coconut Dusted Fried Plantains Farmer’s Market Vegetable Hash Riff’s Mac n’ Cheese Gulf Shrimp, Pork Belly and Smoked Tomato Grits
KLD Farms short ribs Sourdough French Toast with Berry Compote, Passion Fruit, Salted Caramel Hatcher Dairy Buttermilk Chicken with Jalapeno-Orange Hollandaise Made-to-order Eggs
Porter Road Butcher Sausage Special Assorted desserts
Make reservations here and buy your tickets today!
The Scoop on Community Kitchens – The Tennessean Taste
On Wednesday, March 5th, The Tennessean published an article about Nashville’s community kitchens – places where small-business owners can get started and find community and camaraderie. Three of our favorite Mesa Komal chefs were interviewed and pictured in the article!
Sunlight reflects off a wall of colorful tiles as Brittney Blackshear rolls out her baguette dough on the vast countertop space…”Coming here and seeing so many other business owners that are working just as hard as I am and just as passionate is really motivating to keep going,” Blackshear said. ”You know, Mesa Komal, we live that,” Carlos Davis said. ”We are that kind of community.”
Read the full article online at The Tennessean and see more pictures.
The Chef, Carlos Davis – The Nashville Scene People 2014
In other news, Carlos Davis, chef and owner of Riffs Catering, was named as one of the Nashville Scene People of 2014! In addition to highlighting his diverse culinary background, the article shares his talent, popularity, and passion for teaching his son about the importance of knowing the source of your food.
As Carlos says, “Food is meant to bring people together.” Mesa Komal is proud to support community-building chefs like Carlos.
Read the full article online at The Nashville Scene.
One of the initiatives of Nashville Public Television is a series of videos telling the stories of our next door neighbors. Our neighbors who were not born and raised in Nashville, but who now call this city home. Three of our Mesa Komal chefs worked with Shawn Anfinson from NPT over a span of 2 months. He arranged interviews, filmed them in the kitchen, and generously taught them how to put it all together to make their own video to tell their story. Carlos, a native of Barbados, shares how his island childhood shapes his passion for food. The daughter of pioneering parents, Java hails from the United Arab Emirates and has brought her middle eastern roots to her hummus business. And Brenda (not pictured) was forced to flee her native El Salvador during the civil war and came to the United States after many years in Belize.
Each video is only about 3 minutes long, but you may want to grab a friend and some tissues. These are some inspiring stories.
Dinner in Spain is not served until after 9:30 pm but not to fear! “Tapas” – or Spanish appetizers are abundant throughout the evening hours to cover your hunger in a social setting that is both entertaining and delicious. “Tapar” in Spanish means “to cover” – one possible explanation for the word “tapas”. They used to be thought of as peanuts or trail mix but have evolved into so much more! In fact there is a national contest consisting of the winners of regional contests throughout Spain each year to choose the best ones in the country.
A few observations- tapas are rarely served in homes and not something to get “to go” and then take home either. They are bite sized and are eaten standing up- this strategically allows for mobility. It is typical in Spain to meet up with friends for tapas and it is easy to move around the room to converse with all of them or to meet new friends as you are not seated at a table.
Spain has some of the best chefs and restaurants in the world as well as the highest quality of ingredients. For the same reasons, eating out has become expensive and can require reservations made well in advance for the most exclusive restaurants. Tapas, however, have made high cuisine affordable and accessible to everyone. Most restaurants will serve tapas without a need to wait for a table and you can turn them into your meal by ordering three or four.
Continue reading Tapas – The Art of the Appetizer
Still wish you could give someone the world for Christmas? While you may not be able to wrap up a plane ticket to a dream destination, you can send friends and family on trips from the Caribbean to Cambodia via Mesa Komal(community table) at Casa Azafrán Community Center. Gift certificates are available for monthly Mezcla Mix and Master Cooking Classes where chefs share their skills and cultures…
Read more from writer Cindy McCain’s experience at the Mezcla Mix & Master Cooking Class!
Gift Certificates are $40 each and are available for purchase online.
Each one valid for any Mezcla International Class in 2014!
One of our Casa Azafrán neighbors is Glencliff High School, a very vibrant and diverse school. There are over 42 different nationalities and 26 languages represented in their student population! Beginning in 2008, the Career Academy curriculum has been offering students the skills necessary for them to enter the work force or attend college to pursue post-secondary training and education. Under this Academy program, Glencliff is the only ACF certified culinary arts program in the state of Tennessee.
Throughout this fall, the seniors from the Culinary Arts program have been coming to our Mesa Komal commercial kitchen to learn from and work alongside our chefs. The students have been assisting Carlos Davis (Riffs Catering), Hunter Briley (Music City Pie Company) and Brittany Blackshear (Crepe A Diem) to help them prepare for special events, make pie dough for 500 pies, and break down the weekly farmer’s market haul.
Additionally, two students have spent time with our preschoolers who come while their parents take English classes offered through Conexión Américas. The students developed the mini-cooking class for the children, teaching them about healthy food and the value of tasting new things. Thank you Glencliff Students!
As the holidays approach, many of us are anticipating a time to gather with friends and family and share a meal together. The Mesa Komal Chefs have joined together to supply everything you will need for your holiday festivities! The order form lists all items from each of our small businesses. You can mix and match to meet your needs. Simply order online and pick up your items on Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
And don’t forget that many of these items make great gifts as well!
After visiting Peru in our October class, we are now traveling to Egypt, courtesy of chef Ragab Rashwan. Ragab is the chef-owner of a new Nashville food truck called The Falafel Factory. He will guide us through a three-course menu while enjoying traditional beverages.
Buy your ticket now before it sells out! More details are available here.
Traditional Hummus & Taboule
Falafel with Tahini Sauce
Continue reading Mezcla: Egyptian Cooking Class