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Mexico -- One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless

Latest Episodes

Mescal is having a real renaissance, both in Mexico and in fine cocktail emporiums all over the United States. Rick takes us on a journey to see how a small Oaxacan distiller hand-crafts this fine spirit renowned for its rich, smoky complexity and brightness. As with any great artisan product, there's always a great story. With Rick around, there's always great food, from hand-pressed memelas topped with a bright avocado salsa to vinegar-infused snacks. We learn to sip mescal with fresh oranges and sal de gusano - chile-spiked salt.

Mexico and chocolate go together like salsa and chips. But if you hear "Mexican chocolate" and think of something to dip churros into, you're only getting a part of the story. A few Mexico City chocolatiers see more potential for Mexican chocolate - they see single-origin chocolate bars, beautiful hand-formed truffles, even ambitious sculptures made of the stuff. Hector Galvan of La Casa Tropical talks with Rick about the cultural importance of chocolate in Mexico and why he is working so diligently to save ancient varieties of cacao.

Rick's got nothing against cerveza and margaritas, but in this episode he explores another side of Mexican drinking: Wine. Mexican wine. And no, that's not a misnomer. In fact, the burgeoning craft of Mexican wine is growing, often in unusual places. Marvin Nahmias and partners have transformed a high-rise rooftop in Mexico City into a small vineyard and winemaking facility; after they give Rick a tour, they give him the keys to the kitchen.

Oaxaca has long been known for its seven moles, unparalleled home-cooking and remarkable market fare. Lately, its restaurant reputation has skyrocketed, too. Deservedly so. Rick visits four of the top chef contenders in Oaxaca City, tours their restaurants, cooks in their kitchens and discusses the lively burgeoning scene. For starters, Chef Miguel Jimenez cooks up a batch of red chile beef and fruit stew from the Isthmus to serve inside his crispy plantain mogo mogos. Next, Chef Jose Manuel Banos creates a taco from jelled carrot filled with a chintestle and shrimp ceviche.

WGBY Create
Thu Jun 20th, 7:30am
Thu Jun 20th, 1:30pm

Rick brings you out of the plush resorts and into the streets of Playa del Carmen, where street vendors and roadside stands serve real-deal Mexican food. Rick heads to Antojitos Yucateco for cochinita pibil tortas, then to nearby Las Karnitas for tacos of golden, crispy carnitas with spicy salsa. Then Rick follows the smoke to a little roadside cart, where crowds gather for cecina estilo Yecapixtla, thin-cut seared beef with grilled onions and nopales.

People are passionate about their tacos in Tijuana. Ask any local and they'll tell you their favorite - complete with mouthwatering details. Three local Tijuana foodies take Rick on a taco "crawl" starting with arrachera (skirt steak) tacos at El Yaqui. Piled high with beans, creamy avocado salsa and Mexican "candy" (roasted jalapenos). The feast moves on to include suadero tacos at Los Ahumadores, sauteed and fried shrimp tacos at Mariscos El Mazateno, steamed tacos on Tijuana's tourist strip and ends with smoked salmon tacos at Salceados.

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