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Chef brings a true taste of Mexico to Seoul hotel

Sept 18,2017
Mexican chef Daniel Gonzales, right, presents traditional Mexican food at the Millennium Seoul Hilton’s buffet restaurant until Sept. 20. [MILLENNIUM SEOUL HILTON]
Many Korean have become familiar with tacos and burritos - and even enchiladas and tostadas - thanks to Mexican restaurants opening up in many neighborhoods across the country. However, there are still many popular Mexican dishes that diners here don’t see much of, such as mole, a sauce made with many different ingredients and served with rice or over meat.

To introduce the diversity of Mexican cuisine, Chef Daniel Gonzales from restaurant Maizajo in Mexico is hosting a buffet-style food promotion at Millennium Seoul Hilton until Sept. 20.

“Mole is something we eat when we celebrate at weddings or parties,” said the chef during an interview with Korea JoongAng Daily, adding that his visit can be part of any celebration for locals.

Out of over 15 dishes he is presenting, he recommends duck with black mole sauce. “Mole is more elaborate, while salsa is for [something more casual] at home.”

Locals may recognize some familiar tastes in his dishes, as he sprinkles sesame seeds on top of some of his dishes for decoration and added flavor. He also uses a variety of nuts to add texture and flavor to different vegetable and meat dishes.

“People often think that Mexican food is spicy, but that depends on what type of peppers are added. The level of spice can be different,” said Chef Gonzales.

“There are many mild peppers so anyone can [pick and choose] what they want to eat.”

Another dish to try out at the buffet is the amaranth tart with chocolate and pepper.

The combination of chocolate and pepper is often used in Mexican cuisine, the chef explained, as sweet and spicy flavors compliment each other. The buffet is 99,000 won ($87) per person for lunch and dinner.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]