Windy Citizen contributor Kiyoshimartinez posted on the Flame wars between a Chicago Tribune Blogger and Food Critic Phil Vettel.
Having been to both of Rick Bayless’s restaurants, I have to say that they were definitely different experiences from many of the other Mexican restaurants that I’ve eaten at, of which traverse all ends of the scale, from tiny taquerieas to the upscale.
My professional expertise is both in cultural marketing strategy and the Internet, and it is my professional opinion that Rick Bayless has done more to garner interest in the many regional cuisines of Mexico, promote the food and culture of Mexico and contribute to increased interest in all things Mexican to the general population more than any other restaurateur, local or national. To me, this is a good thing because it helps all good Mexican restaurants.
I’ve heard Bayless in interviews. I have his cookbooks. The man speaks fluent Spanish, had lived in Mexico with his wife, and together they had traveled through out Mexico to the various states there, learning about the differences in regional differences in foods. The only other persons I know who have done the state by state travel to Mexico are the Lozas, who own a store on 18th Street with an incredible array of items made by artisans throughout Mexico.
To do that takes commitment, a love of the culture, and being in touch with his inner Mexican heart, of which he has spoken of often.My ex husband was born in Mexico and eschewed his culture, yet because of his blood line no one would question his right to open a Mexican restaurant if he were to do so. Culture, including food and language, are a thing of the heart, not only of blood. As such, especially in his case, it transcends race.