One of the highlights of Tucson’s designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy is that several local chefs were given the thrill of traveling to other designated cities to prepare dishes that highlight the flavors and local ingredients.
The biggest one was in June, when Janos Wilder and a whole troop of Tucsonans went to Paris and cooked an entire meal for the UNESCO delegation. With the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop, Janos and his team created a meal for the dignitaries.
The menu (see below) wowed everyone there. And from what I hear, our reps all had a tres jolie time.
- Chilled Mango Soup – spicy crab aioli, jalapeño orange vinaigrette
- Braised Beef Cheek – Anita’s soft tacos, cabbage radish slaw, salsa fresca
- Mushroom, Queso, & Poblano Flautas – saguaro blossom crema
Made-to-Order Action Stations
- Shrimp Mojo de Ajo – frijoles maneados, roasted pepper, cabbage slaw, pickled cholla buds, chiltepin salsa
- Pork Tenderloin Adobado – chipotle black bean sauce, achiote vinaigrette, guacamole
- Beef Salpicon + Escabeche – green chile sauce, prickly pear crema
Tray Passed Desserts
- Assorted Mezcal, Bacanora, Tamarindo, & Chile-Scented Chocolate Truffles
- Ahumado Fresca – Mesquite smoked honey, house made tamarind sauce, Sotol, lime
- Whiskey Del Bac
About that same time, Chef Brian Smith from Maynards Market was in Parma, Italy for the Gola Gola festival there. His dessert, arroz con leche, was composed of dates grown in Tucson, Sonoran wheat berries and a prickly pear.
As we speak, Travis Gary Peters, executive chef and owner of The Parish, is in Denia, Spain. I’m not sure what he is preparing, although I did see him making tortillas during a trial run.
Tucsonans should take pride in not just the designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy but we should stand up and cheer our many talented chefs and their teams for bringing the flavors of Tucson to the world.