Diego Galicia & Rico Torres

Chefs

Rico Torres and Diego Galicia first met at a restaurant pop-up and quickly bonded over their love for authentic Mexican cuisine. The duo, who both have roots in Mexico, wanted to create dishes that reflected the flavors they love so much. Together they opened Mixtli in San Antonio, to showcase the diverse flavors of Mexico’s regions. Over 10 courses, they unveil the textures, flavors and techniques of a singular Mexican state. Forty-five days later, their ‘cloud’ (Mixtli means “cloud” in Nahuatl) travels to a new state to highlight a new menu. The result is an ephemeral, elevated, locally focused approach to indigenous and pre-Hispanic ingredients and flavors.

The culinary duo spends as much time researching regional dishes as they do creating them. Rico says that if their food makes someone cry, they know they’ve done their job. This heartfelt take on Mexican cuisine has earned fair recognition: they were named Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2017 and James Beard Foundation semifinalists in 2018. Their dishes are like a trip for the tastebuds—and you never even leave your seat.

Why We Love Diego Galicia & Rico Torres

They love what they do, and who they are. These chefs grew up with Mexico close to their heart. They can talk history, architecture, food or tequila. Or maybe just share stories from their childhoods.

“Other chefs are looking toward the future. We’re going back. It’s way more fun.” –Diego Galicia

”We’re going to rescue and preserve these recipes that are important to us and our families. And we’re going to run with it.” –Rico Torres

6 Questions with Diego & Rico

  1. What inspires you two the most?

    Our creative process works best when we find something that resonates. It’s like a key to a secret lock, and inside is a field of endless possibilities. Other times, we’ve had some really great ideas by simply misunderstanding a phrase or image. We never go back to reread it or understand it better, we just keep moving forward with the misunderstanding and let it unravel on its own.

  2. Your mission is to “Rescue. Preserve. Protect. Promote.” Where does the ‘Rescue’ part come from?

    Many times we come across dishes and recipes that are little known outside their perspective origins. Even then, time can wash away the memory of a dish. We did a mole called Uliche a few years ago. It is supposedly one of the oldest recorded recipes dating back to the Maya. During that menu a chef from Tabasco who was visiting told us that even in her home state, it was very rare to see such an ancient dish. Another favorite was techuitlatl, a spirulina cracker we did for our Conquista menu. This was a reference to an ancient ingredient, spirulina, that is not so common in Mexican gastronomy today. However, it is making a comeback!

  3. The ever-changing menu at Mixtli rotates through each of Mexico’s 32 states. What’s been the greatest surprise so far?

    There have been so many stories that we encounter in our research. From Samurai fighting Spanish conquistadors after arriving in Acapulco as emissaries traveling to Spain... To Irish immigrants defecting from the US to join the Mexican forces, as the St Patrick’s Battalion. Undoubtedly the most interesting threads to pull are the ones that reaffirm the unique interconnectivity we all share as citizens of the Earth.

  4. Presentation matters a lot to you both. How would you describe the Mixtli aesthetic?

    Clean, minimalistic, and conveys inspiration. It is meant to tell a story and offer homage to the creators, the growers, and the origin.

  5. Art, architecture, mezcal, music–you're interested in more than just food, you’re really looking at the entire culture and history of Mexico.

    Yes, oftentimes menus are not created by pouring over old cookbooks. Instead, taking into account all the agencies that tell the story of Mexico we find our inspiration for the experience we want to offer.

  6. What are you most excited about heading to the Yucatán?

    Visiting ancient Mayan territory and to walk on land filled with so much history, magic, and marvel.

Oaxaca with Diego Galicia & Rico Torres

One Departure Only | May 21 - 27, 2023

Learn More

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