Local celebrity chef Hugo Ortegaof namesake restaurant Hugo’s, a 2012 James Beard Award finalist, signs copies of his new book Street Food of Mexico today at Blue Willow Bookshop. It’s a hefty volume filled with spectacular color photography of street vendors, sidewalk cafes, open-air markets and lots of delicious-looking food. More importantly, it’s filled with Ortega’s tried-and-tested recipes. Ortega, who came to the United States from Mexico in 1984, rose from dishwasher to chef at Backstreet Cafe before opening his own restaurant, Hugo’s.
The recipes in the book, like the ones used at Hugo’s, come from on-the-ground research. Ortega traveled through Mexico, he says, “eating, meeting the local cooks and rediscovering the remarkable history, textures, flavors and diversity found” in his homeland. The book covers tacos, salsas, tortas, ceviches, sweets and drinks, taking street-vendor recipes and tweaking them for the home cook. And don’t be fooled by the title; this may be street food, but it’s not fast food.
Wed., Nov. 14, 7 p.m., 2012