On Tuesday’s demo at ICE, Chef Sue Torres took the audience through her journey from classical French cooking at La Grenouille to the chile-loaded dishes she makes at her restaurant, Sueños. She explained the techniques and recipes that helped Sueños win accolades such as Bon Appétit’s Best Cocktail List and Time Out New York’s Best Culinary Ambassador.

The hungry audience ate up her advice as she prepared Grilled Salmon with Green Sauce and Tomatillo-Pineapple Salsa. Throughout the demo Chef Torres shared tips on how to pick and how to use a wide variety of Mexican ingredients as well as demonstrating several new techniques. For instance, she explained to the audience the advantages of making salsa a day ahead as this lets the flavors become more complex and intense. In her opinion, one of the most important things to teach young chefs is to treat herbs delicately, doing so allows you to get the most out of them.

She talked about how to incorporate different ingredients and produce from Mexico. For example, she elaborated on a Mexican favorite, jicama. Though it’s rarely used here, Torres said the cross between a raw potato and an apple is served as street food in Mexico where children gobble it up. Even the avocados are better in Mexico, Torres says their fat content is higher so they taste richer—just check the sticker to see where your avocados are from! She encouraged everyone to try new things and expand their Mexican cuisine horizons beyond burritos and fajitas to the wide world of ingredients and flavors that originate just south of the border!

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