Sabores CDMX: Visiting Chefs From Mexico City to Cook Authentic Mexican Cuisine in Houston Restaurants

Chefs Gerardo Vazquez Lugo, Margarita Carrillo Arronte and Victor Cabrera will be in Houston from December 10 to 12.EXPAND
Chefs Gerardo Vazquez Lugo, Margarita Carrillo Arronte and Victor Cabrera will be in Houston from December 10 to 12.
Photo courtesy of Mexico City Tourism Trust

Three prominent chefs from Mexico City will descend upon Houston this week as part of a new partnership between the Mexico City Tourism Trust and The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. The partnership was formed in an effort to promote tourism between the cities.

Titled “Sabores CDMX,” the event will be a showcase of authentic Mexican cuisine, and takes place from Thursday, December 10, through Saturday, December 12 at three Houston-area restaurants: Cuchara, Hugo’s and Arcodoro. Each of the visiting chefs will be preparing a three-course meal, to be offered during dinner service at each respective restaurant.

At Cuchara Restaurant in Montrose, patrons will have the chance to sample the cuisine of chef Gerardo Vazquez Lugo. Lugo is the current executive chef at Nicos Restaurant in Mexico City, a treasured landmark restaurant that has specialized in traditional Mexican cuisine for more than 50 years. Nicos was named one of the “50 Best Restaurants” in Latin America by the Worlds 50 Best Latin America awards sponsored by S. Pelligrino and Acqua Panna in 2015. He is also a professor at the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana, Ambrosia Culinary Center, and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico and Grupo Cedva. He is considered one of Mexico's modern-day culinary greats for his command of traditional Mexican cuisine.

Says Cuchara’s owner, Ana Beaven: “This is an important event for the Houston food scene because Houston's awareness and love of Mexican cuisine is expanding at the same time as the city embraces the global food scene. And someone like chef Gerardo fully represents Mexico as a global culture.” She adds, “Plus, I have been going to his restaurant since I was a child! My grandma has been going there forever. I always recommend his restaurant. It's not in the touristic loop.” 

A traditional dish of duck with mole sauce served at Nicos Restaurant in Mexico City.
A traditional dish of duck with mole sauce served at Nicos Restaurant in Mexico City.
Photo by Mai Pham

Lugo will be offering the following menu: starter of milpa soup (squash blossom, corn kernels, poblano chile) or tostada de bacalao (codfish toast); main course of jaibas suaves en michmole (soft crab on michmole sauce) or conejo borracho (drunk rabbit); and dessert of tamal de chocolate y frutos rojos (chocolate and berries tamale) or dulce de zapote negro (black sapota candy).

At Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught’s Hugo’s in Lower Westheimer, guests will get to experience the gastronomy of chef Margarita Carrillo Arronte, chef and owner of Turtux in Mexico City. Arronte is also a TV host and author who recently published a seminal cookbook titled Mexico: The Cookbook

Arronte’s menu is as follows: starter of green ceviche and light black bean soup or mushroom bundle and green Mexican soup; main course of jumbo shrimp with garlic and habanero chile sauce or mole encacahuatado (lamb with peanut sauce); and dessert of hibiscus flower and  mascarpone cup or coconut tart, both served with Mexican coffee.

At Efisio and Lori Farris’ Arcodoro Restaurant in the Galleria, patrons will taste cuisine prepared by chef Víctor Cabrera Carrillo. A restaurant consultant with multiple projects in Puebla, Playa del Carmen and Mexico City, Carrillo is also coordinator and academic director at the Culinary Institute of Mexico.

Carrillo's main course of Roulade Poblano.EXPAND
Carrillo's main course of Roulade Poblano.
Photo courtesy of Mexico City Tourism Trust

Carrillo’s menu offers a slightly exotic touch as follows: starter of crema de chicharrón (pork rind cream), or fideos secos virreinales (viceregal dry noodles); main course of róbalo al pastor (bass on achiote sauce) or roulade poblano (chicken breast roll filled with walnuts, cranberries and figs); and dessert of pudding and pumpkin ice cream, or crème brûlée with roast corn and rosemary.

At the time of this writing, the menu prices were not available. The menus are also subject to change. For more information and to make reservations, please contact the respective restaurants, Cuchara, Hugo’s and Arcodoro. The Sabores CDMX dishes will be posted on social media at @MexicoCityLive using the hashtag #MexicoCityFlavors.

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