Culture

Mexican Food Doesn’t Get The Respect It Deserves, Says Chef Javier Plascencia

Tijuana-born Javier Plascencia knows how to run a Mexican restaurant: His family runs 13 successful businesses in Mexico alone.

Were having a partyyyy!! #jazamango #todossantos #playalobos

A photo posted by Javier Plascencia (@javierplascencia) on


However, in 2015, when Plascencia opened Bracero in San Diego, Calif., he was surprised to find U.S. customers giving him the cold shoulder.

In a recent interview with Vice’s Javier Cabral, Plascencia says he wasn’t entirely prepared to clash with U.S. expectations of Mexican food.


A respected chef in Mexico, Plascencia specializes in modern Mexican cuisine. He uses modern techniques to create unique dishes that highlight traditional Mexican flavors.

In the U.S., Mexican food has a reputation for being quick and cheap, an expectation that carries over to modern Mexican cuisine, which is often more expensive. “We get a lot of requests for chips, salsa, and burritos,” Plascencia told Vice. “I do not serve these items. [Americans] also expect big, big, big portions and are not willing to pay $5 for a taco.” These are among the several reasons many potential patrons bristle at the style of Mexican cuisine Plascencia is trying to introduce to a U.S. audience.

Plascencia believes that many people undervalue the amount of time and work that goes into creating many Mexican dishes.

image-2
CREDIT: javierplascencia / Instagram

“You probably won’t be able to tell by the looks of the tiny cup full of salsa on your table at Bracero, but you would not believe how much time and labor goes into making just that one alone,” Plascencia said.

Plascencia also says Mexican-Americans have a much different idea of what “traditional” Mexican flavors are:


“A lot of American-born cooks who work for me haven’t tasted the real flavors of simple, traditional, Mexican-style braised dishes or even a homemade mole, so it is really difficult to train them to accurately recreate proper Mexican flavors.” In spite of these culinary hurdles, Plascencia’s two U.S.-based restaurants have achieved critical acclaim and a loyal fan base.

Plascencia says he’s noticed that younger patrons are more willing to try modern Mexican cuisine.

image-3
CREDIT: javierplascencia / Instagram

For someone who came to the U.S. to escape Tijuana’s kidnapping and crime epidemic, Plascencia is laser focused to broadening our perception of how we can experience Mexican food. Make sure to check out the full interview at Vice, which is packed with more insight from Plascencia.

[H/T] VICE: Why It’s So Hard to Open a Modern Mexican Restaurant in the US


READ: A List Of Latin American Cuisine That Isn’t For The Weak Stomach

Like this story? Click on the share button to send to your friends!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

San Diego Karen Wants To Sue For Half Of Starbucks Barista’s $100K GoFundMe

Things That Matter

San Diego Karen Wants To Sue For Half Of Starbucks Barista’s $100K GoFundMe

Amber Lynn Gilles / Facebook

Update: Amber Lynn Gilles is Internet famous for trying to shame a Starbucks barista on Facebook for telling her to wear a mask. Now she is becoming Internet famous for claims she is the victim and deserves half of the money raised on GoFundMe.

The GoFundMe page for Lenin Gutierrez is now over $100,000 and Gilles claims she deserves half.

Credit: GoFundMe

Gutierrez is now $100,000 richer after his friend Matt Cowan set up the GoFundMe to make the bad experience better. The original goal for the GoFundMe page was $1,000 but the amount keeps on growing as people share the love with Gutierrez.

According to the GoFundMe, Cowan set up for Gutierrez to meet with a financial advisor to help him invest the money. Gutierrez has said that he wants to use the money to pursue his dream of being a dancer. Even more, the young mans shared in a video that he wants to use the money to help others chase their dreams in dance as well.

“We crossed the $100,000 mark,” reads the GoFundMe page. “A huge thank you to everyone who has donated. Lenin is overjoyed and at a loss of words at the kindness that has been shown to him by everyone worldwide.”

After the fundraiser made a lot of money, Gilles has decided to sue for half of the money she feels she deserves. However, she needs people to send her money so she can hire an attorney to take on the case. The fundraiser was started on July 2, 2020, and has raised $460 of the $5,000 goal in two weeks.

“I have been attacked by liberals, the organizations who form many Facebook hate groups, I am silenced on media platforms and censored,” Gilles claims on her GoFundMe page. “I have been slandered and defamed on a GoFundMe raiser, he used my photo and personal information without my permission.”

Gilles claims that she has a medical condition and showed a note from a chiropractor saying she has a breathing condition.

Original: Karens are everywhere and one Starbuck barista in San Diego encountered one in the wild without a face mask. Lenin Gutierrez asked a customer if she had a mask when he saw her without one. She said no and refused to put on one. She then went to social media to call him out.

A white woman in San Diego was very upset that a Starbucks barista told her to wear a mask.

Credit: Amber Lynn Gilles / Facebook

Face masks have become a very controversial issue. The most important tool in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic has become a politicized issue. Conservatives have denounced the facial coverings claiming they infringe on their rights and are unconstitutional. A Vinn diagram of people protesting the lockdown and not wanting to wear masks would show a lot of overlap.

She included a photo of Lenin Gutierrez, the man who stood up to her.

Credit: Amber Lynn Gilles / Facebook

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a mandate ordering al Californians to wear facial coverings when they are in public. Private businesses, like Starbucks, are allowed to refuse service to anyone that employees deem necessary. During a pandemic that has killed more than 120,000 Americans and infected more than 2.6 million, facial coverings are crucial.

Gutierrez is the one coming out ahead when a GoFundMe was set up to show him support.

Credit: GoFundMe

So far, more than $49,000 have been raised to help Gutierrez. The money is being donated by people who are thanking him for stand up to the woman who thinks she is too good to wear a mask. If you want to donate, you can click here.

Gutierrez took to Facebook to thank everyone who donated to him.

I’ve received numerous messages asking for my side of the story. Since this seems to be the most popular thread I decided to post my personal experience here. Thank you all for the love and support.

Posted by Lenin Gutierrez on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The barista was so moved by the donations. The young man shared that he was working at Starbucks to make the money to pursue his dreams of dancing. According to his Facebook, he likes Folklorico, the native dance of Mexico. There is no doubt that $49,000 will definitely help him pursuing is dreams of diving deeper into dancing.

Don’t forget that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. COVID-19 has not slowed down in the U.S. Instead, the number of infections continues to rise in the U.S. with more than 40,000 falling ill on Thursday. Facial coverings are the best tool we have to slow the spread. Be smart. Be safe. Listen to the scientists. We can make it through this together.

READ: People Are Using Social Media to Highlight Racism On The Islands

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Kids Really Do Say The Darndest Things: Watch This Group Of School Kids Interview J Balvin

Entertainment

Kids Really Do Say The Darndest Things: Watch This Group Of School Kids Interview J Balvin

Noisey

There are few things more pure than a bunch of school kids meeting their idol – especially when that idol happens to be una leyenda like J Balvin. Someone who I too would totally fan girl over. But some kids know how to play it a lot cooler than I ever could.

In an interview with Noisey, J Balvin meets a group of Mexican school kids who pretty much give him the fifth degree, but in the best way possible.

J Balvin sat down for a one to like twenty when he was recently in Mexico – and the results are everything.

In the interview, the kids grill Balvin on everything from his love life to the inspiration behind his latest album, Colores. And honestly, these kids are better interviewers than me on a good day.

My favorite part comes at the start of the video when one kid wants to know why J Balvin writes music with curse words but makes Bad Bunny sing them instead. Unfortunately, it’s a question we don’t actually get an answer to.

Some of these kids offer up some really great questions.

Credit: Noisey / VICE

Like, does J Balvin have a novia? Unfortunately, that too is a question we don’t get a clear answer to. However, J Balvin does tease us a bit saying that he’s “in negotiations.”

At times, J Balvin hits back with his own questions and the kids responses are just wayyyyy too cute.

Credit: Noisey / VICE

Shortly after Balvin is asked if he has a girlfriend, he pops the question back to his audience – of like 8-year-olds – if any of them have significant others. Many of the girls answer saying no, that they’re too young. Meanwhile, a few boys say they’re incapable of having girlfriends because they’re saints and J Balvin has a good laugh.

Check out the full video here and do you best not to smile from ear to ear!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com