Tempo Urban Kitchen adds Chef Cody Storts, new locations and brunch + plus a huge party!

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Chef Cody Storts, formerly of Grits Fullerton, has joined the team at Tempo Urban Kitchen as Executive Chef. Tempo Urban Kitchen, started nearly 2 years ago by Lascari’s and Cibo Fresh President Jorge Cueva, focuses on American-inspired Mexican food, inclusive of the melting pot of influences modern America draws from.

Cueva recently opened his second location in Anaheim Hills, with plans to expand to Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico, and Tokyo, Japan in the coming year. Storts will helm the expansion in the kitchen, with his first item of business being the launch of Tempo’s brunch menu this weekend.  … Read more…

Vice Munchies on Chef Daniel Godinez’s Modern Mexican makeover at Anepalco

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Vice Munchies‘ writer Javier Cabral penned a piece recently on Chef Daniel Godinez’s Modern Mexican restaurant Anepalco, calling it “One of the best Mexican restaurants I’ve dined at in recent memory.” Godinez recently unveiled his new menu, which eschews the French-Mexican fusion he is known for to delve headfirst into Modern Mexican cuisine.

Godinez uses the techniques of today’s kitchen to recreate traditional Mexican dishes including chilaquiles, mole and more, while Head Bartender Cesar Cerrudo pours drinks that are as impressive as the food coming out of the kitchen. Cabral’s reporting goes deep into the different styles of Mexican cuisine in this highly-informative read:

“This kind of Mexican restaurant—one that breaks the mold of a typical Mexican joint—is called acocina de autor, a restaurant style that originated in Mexico when native cooks refused to follow their fancy French predecessors in order to focus on redefining what Mexican food can be. The soft-spoken Godinez has successfully achieved this at Anepalco in a way that no other Mexico-born chef has done before—and of all places, in Orange, California, just a few steps from the Interstate 5 freeway.

This kind of approach is not to be confused with the other Mexican food movement currently building steam in Southern California, known as Alta California cuisine (a term that dates back to 1822, when California was the territory of Mexico). Alta California cuisine evolved into a mix of traditional Mexican food, American comfort food, and the flavors and produce of California made famous by USA-born Mexican-American chefs like Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria just a few miles away, Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish, Eddie Ruiz (formerly of Corazón y Miel), and Wesley Avila of Guerrilla Tacos.”

Click here to read Vice Munchies story on Anepalco in Orange.

Anepalco
3737 W. Chapman Ave.
Orange, Ca 92868

Eclectic electric: Dinner at Taco Maria

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For as often as I visited Chef Carlos Salgado’s Taco Maria food truck, it’s a surprise to most everyone that I’d yet to dine at his proper brick and mortar in The OC Mix. In the time since he parked the truck and opened the joint, Salgado’s gone back to the farm for tortillas (read this next!) and become a hero for modern Mexican cooking, praised by Edwin Goei of OC Weekly, Jonathan Gold of the Los Angeles Times, named a Food & Wine magazine “Best New Chef” and more.

Wifey Nadia and I came to celebrate my 33rd birthday and had the option of sitting at the chef’s counter, which, duh. Though Chef Salgado wasn’t in the house, his kitchen crew, helmed on this night by Roland Rubalcava (formerly of his own incredible Placentia mercado), was more than ready to shine with their precise techniques and explosive flavors.

I think Mexican food in America is wrongly pegged for having a low value. One-dollar tacos, combination plates with rice and beans, burritos at the drive-thru. But plates from chefs including Salgado, Diego Hernandez of Corazon de Tierra in Valle de Guadalupe and Javier Plascencia of Mision 19 in Tijuana redefine Mexican food for this generation of gastronomes.

Four courses runs $65 with an optional $29 wine pairing. I went with a glass of red from the Valle and let the kitchen take it from there. Photos are a bit grainy because it’s a dim space, but I started shooting with a Canon 50mm and it works well enough in low light settings and amazingly otherwise. Loosen your belt … … Read more…