Sydney Dining Highlights

      Interview with Richard Ampudia, Godfather of Mexican Street Food


      We have interviewed Richard Ampudia, the Godfather of Mexican street food as he heads to Melbourne for a series of events hosted by Touche Hombre and Davis Yu. Richard Ampudia is synonymous with top New York Mexican eateries L’Esquina, Super Linda, Bar Bruno and London’s La Bodega Negra...

      Coinciding with the annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Touché Hombre will host a string of dinners, Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th March, specially designed by Ampudia to excite Melbourne foodies with the flavours of his Mexican heritage and to get a taste of what New Yorkers have been raving about.  

      Bookings for Richard Ampudia’s Mexican Street Food dinners at Touché Hombre in March and the Rooftop Mexican Party are limited. To register your interest email   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="color: #b0392e; outline: 0px; cursor: pointer;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

      Here is our interview with Richard Ampudia - 

      How much should a chef honor the heritage of Mexican food, and is the trend in bringing a modern twist and flair? 

      Richard Ampudia: I don’t think food  {as part of a globalized culture} is static... It's in a constant state of change and re-interpretation. The trend in Mexico City, New York, Melbourne and all over the world is to integrate a lot of new ingredients and techniques to Mexican Food and I think that is fantastic. I don't believe in Dogma when it comes to food... but it's also good to be honest with or guests and clearly differentiate between classic Mexican and Modern re-interpretations. In my opinion nothing will ever equal the perfection of a roadside taco in Mexico City.  

      Are you able to comment on the Mexican cuisine scene in Melbourne?

       Richard Ampudia:  Only by what I hear and read on the web, but its very exciting... and as a Mexican very gratifying to see How Melbourne has fallen n Love with Mexican food and how it is being re-thought and experimented with by local chefs. It's refreshing to see my country receive positive coverage from the media as opposed to the usual focus on the violent period we are living.   

      What are the hallmarks of great Mexican cuisine? 

      Richard Ampudia: I think it should be a perfect balance between spicy, acid, salty and sweet. It should be prepared with super fresh vegetables, preferably rustic and simple in its presentation, but incredibly complex in its preparation. It should be shared amongst friends and should always either cure or prevent a hangover. 

      What are your favourite places to dine in the world? 

      Richard Ampudia:  Sushi at the the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo or Ramen also in Tokyo, Tostadas in the street carts of Ensenada Baja California, Pinocho Restaurant in the Ramblas Market in Barcelona, Pastrami Sandwich in NYC. 

      What are your greatest influences? 

      Richard Ampudia: In terms of cooking and love for food, my parents and grandparents on both sides of my family. I am part Russian, Polish, Jewish, Spanish, Mexican so from every angle food was an integral part of our daily interactions, fights and adventures. 

      Professionally I would say Keith McNally my former boss and owner of Balthazar (and many other unique restaurants in NYC). He is amazingly smart, with an incredibly sharp sense of humor and a unique eye for detail. Emotionally my wife for her inner strength, and moral compass.....

      Here are some of Richard Ampudia's famous dishes from New York - Mussels and Mexican Grilled Corn...