ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Experience the flavors of South America through creatively concocted tacos.
Hollow Spirits Distilling executive chef Tristin Rogers, and Dia De Los TaKos owner and chef Dominic Valenzuela are teaming up for the Tour de Sabor Pairing Dinner on Sept. 30, at Hollow Spirits. Valenzuela was named 2019 New Mexico Restaurant Association’s Chef of the Year.
Each of the courses, with the exception of the Intermezzo, will be paired with a unique cocktail made with Hollow Spirits distilled liquors.
“I’m very excited about the food and I am just as excited about the drinks that come with each, so it really showcases the talent we have here at Hollow Spirits,”
The idea is to use the tacos as a “vessel” and incorporate the exotic flavors of the different South American regions, according to Valenzuela.
The dinner begins with Peru. The course will feature sea bass, with key lime, salsa ciolla, crispy fried corn and a sweet potato corn tortilla. It will be paired with a Chica Morado made with Hollow Spirits vodka, purple corn, cinnamon sticks, cloves, lime and more. It will be followed by the Ecuador dish comprising pork carnitas, roasted plantain corn tortilla, crispy chicharron and coffee foam. It will be complemented with an Ecuadorian Tea Drop created with Hollow Spirits vodka, lemon and tea.
“Ecuador, they love the pig out there,” Valenzuela said. “I know their chicharrons are really popular to them. We really wanted to highlight those flavors and textures of the pig.”
The dinner continues with flavors from Chile: poached lobster, cioppino-infused
jasmine rice and avocado aioli.
“A lot of lobsters come from Chile,” Valenzuela said. “… we wanted to use as many land, sea and air animals as possible, so the lobster just seemed like an obvious choice. We wanted to get all those flavors of the sea, so a nice ciopinno sounded perfect.”
It will be paired with a Par de Vida featuring Hollow Spirits rum, Chilean pear, guava and other ingredients. The rum won gold at the Denver International
An Intermezzo of avocado chia seed pudding with acai pearls will clean the palate.
It will be followed by the Columbia course of Colombian Coffee Confit Duck, charred banana leaf, pickled cherry and tamale husk. A Coco Loco made from
Hollow Spirits Rum, coconut cream, coconut water, lime juice and more will accompany the dish.
“We thought it would be kind of cool to wrap up the taco … like a tamale, so it will come out to you wrapped up almost like a cigar,” he said. “We’re hoping to put a smoldering ash on the leaf so it comes to you with a little bit of smoke to it.”
Argentina, known for its beef, will be showcased next. The dish will comprise grilled skirt steak, roasted garlic, charred tomato corn tortilla and herbaceous
It will be served with a Pepino twist cocktail featuring Hollow Spirits gin, lemon, cucumber, mint and herbal spiced bitters.
The dinner will conclude with Brazil, which will be a dessert course prepared by guest chef Brianna Dennis of the National Restaurant Association. It will feature a brown butter coconut tuille with vanilla pastry cream, toasted cinnamon meringue and chocolate popcorn.