La Recova, one of the most exclusive restaurants in Mérida, is on a mission to rescue the culinary roots of the region and bring them to the gourmet field. This initiative motivated the creation of the “First Festival of Pheasant and Deer” (Primer Festival del Faisán y el Venado), set for March 1 to 15.
During the 15 days of the event, diners will have the opportunity to sample from 12 to 16 different dishes prepared with pheasant or deer, in traditional recipes such as pipián or chirmole, but also in contemporary creations by the executive chef of La Recova Montejo, Jesús Salgado Cruz, and four other chefs that have been invited for this one-of-a-kind gastronomy festival.
The official announcement was made by Gabriel Pelfini, general director of La Recova, who detailed that they seek to re-encounter with the gastronomic roots of the Yucatan and give them a gourmet twist, hence they chose the pheasant and deer that used to be of regular consumption for the Yucatecans in the past, but now are endangered species (“the pheasant is totally extinct in the Yucatan Peninsula”, Pelfini said), and their consumption is possible today thanks to the authorized farms that breed these species.
In the case of deer, La Recova has a commercial relationship with a farm in Campeche, and the pheasant is brought from a farm in Central Mexico, that fills this input for the Festival.
Mr. Pelfini emphasized that they want this event to be open to the Yucatecan society and therefore, they invited other recognized chefs to participate with their own culinary creations.
In this way, together with the dishes of Jesús Salgado, diners will be able to taste gastronomic delicacies by chef Alejandro Méndez from the Hermana República Restaurant; chef Roberto Solis Azarcoya, from Nectar, and chef Pedro Evia, from Ku’uk.
Jesús Salgado points out that among the dishes that can be found in the menu will be: deer cecina, chorizo, chirmole and pipián, as well as deer steak with risotto; pheasant panuchos, pheasant with red fruits, ravioli, and basically a wide variety of options. Different dishes will be available on the menu every day during the Festival.
Talking about the flavor of the meat products used, Gabriel Pelfini and the executive chef of La Recova explained that the pheasant has a very special flavor, something between duck and chicken, the meat is red, the texture is tender but firm, with a luscious flavor.
As for the deer, they said that it has a subtle flavor and the meat is soft, similar to beef, but with a very special touch.
Pelfini pointed out that chef Mizael Chi, from La Parrilla Cancún, who grew up in the area of Tizimín, Yucatán, collaborated in this festival, contributing with traditional pre-hispanic cooking techniques that highlight the flavors of these two species.
Radio anchorman, Fernando Islas Salvatori, who is a commercial partner of La Recova, highlighted the success of other festivals organized by this restaurant in the past, which have been proposed by executive chef Jesus Salgado, and he also mentioned the great positioning of Merida as a world-class gastronomic tourism destination.
Erika Sánchez Patrón, marketing manager of La Recova, stated that to talk about the pheasant and the deer is to talk about gastronomy, but also about the history, culture and identity of Yucatan.
The First Festival of Pheasant and Deer will kick off on Wednesday March 1st at 1 pm, at La Recova on Prolongación Paseo de Montejo, with the presence of all participating chefs. See you there!
By Alejandro Azcárate for TYT
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