By Chef Alexa Weeks

The past decade has ushered in a new era of Mexican cuisine. Diners are intrigued by it's humble roots and elegant simplicity, which beautifully illustrate the deep connection between heritage and cuisine.

Mole, one of the most iconic dishes of Mexico, is perhaps the best example of this relationship. Making mole is a time intensive process that can take days. Individual ingredients require their own preparation before they’re mixed and ground together, each one adding a layer of complexity. Working together as a family to make a mole is part of the tradition. Every mole is different, with its own unique DNA that changes with each home and each generation. The ingredients change, the spices change, the execution changes, but the heart and soul of the dish remains the same.

The process of making a mole from scratch can take days and, once prepared, will evolve in flavor over time. No one knows that better than Chef Erique Olvera. At his restaurant, Pujol, in Mexico City, diners enjoy the beautiful pantry of Mexican ingredients and dishes through the lens of Olvera’s imagination. One of his most well-known dishes, Mole Madre features a “mother” mole that has aged for almost 1,000 days. He serves it along with a Mole Nuevo to illustrate a beautiful juxtaposition of time and tradition.

Related: Culinary Chronicles: Innovation in Food Waste

Olvera expanded his culinary empire to the United States through Cosme and appointed Chef Daniela Soto-Innes to lead the charge. She has risen to the challenge and many in the industry have taken notice. Daniela recently led a hands-on workshop to share her modern interpretations of mole. She wove together tradition and adventure, heritage and unexpected ingredients. Her energy was contagious and she inspired everyone in the room to be part of the action and “just have fun!” Her passion and excitement has enchanted diners at Cosme with each and every dish.

Mole is more than just a sauce. It’s more than each individual ingredient that is ground and blended together. It’s the about the time, effort, and heart that is goes into making it. It’s about bringing people together. It’s about sharing tradition and making it your own.

Check out the articles below for more about what's trending with Modern Mole:

Enrique Olvera, The Chef Redefining Mexican Food

Interview with Chef Daniela Soto-Innes of Cosme, NYC

Mole y Mas: Tasting History in Oaxaca City

We Taste 9 Mole Pastes, Seeking Best Shortcut to Classic Mexican Sauce


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