It stopped me for a second, I am eating an onion. An onion! This was the fifth course out of a seasonal, rotating tasting menu of nine courses. Chef Luis Martinez known to everyone as Lucho opened in December serving sensible, elevated seasonal dishes that are Japanese and French inspired.
We didn’t know what to expect when we made the reservation. All I knew was that it was highly recommended by a chef friend of the top places to try in Mexico City. When I called to reserve a table (which is highly recommended due to limited seating) they explained that we would be seating in the counter area. The counters seats only 20 customers and the restaurant itself sits 50 all together. It was the best seat in the house. That’s the real show, watching the cooks elegantly put the plates together, creating an art form that will tickle your senses.
Now back to the onion course. What can I tell you? It was a perfectly cooked, half of a caramelized onion serve on a purée of more caramelized onion, a shallot Demi-glacé with edible garlic flowers. The texture was al dente as you cut into every bite. The purée was sweet, silky and the sauce impeccable. I closed my eyes because I wanted to remember every bite and appreciate the moment in which a chef delivers simplicity in its perfect state.
I became overwhelmed for a second realizing Lucho’s wizardry for his execution of an onion. I felt vulnerable. I felt embarrassed because he got me. He reached what every chef intends to do when creating a dish which is honoring the wholesomeness of a vegetable, respecting the farmer that pick it, the soil it was harvested on and nurtured until the moment its cooked for the guest. You can clearly see that Lucho’s promise to focus on purity and his love of the product is well executed and very present in all his courses. When I shared my experience with my chef friend he stated “But of course, Lucho cooks like one of the Gods.”
Chef Luis “Lucho” Martinez
Rio Panuco 132, Planta Alta, 1B
Cuauhtemoc, 06500 Mexico City
Chef Rosie is the Chef Owner of Provecho Grill in Menifee, California and Xicana (coming soon). She is a two-time winner of the SoCal Chef Open and Farmer’s Market Flip, Season One, Episode One. She can also be found writing about food for Menifee Buzz and Valley News.
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