Gelinaz – Silent Voices: Sergio Meza in Mexico City

Gelinaz are back. Dec. 3rd 2020 will see the return of the inimitable, culinary, international dining experience from the team at GELINAZ!. Once again, the collaboration is global, and this 4th edition is more soulful than ever. From Dec. 3rd, 130 chefs will remix, play, perform, Matrixes, ideas, menus, recipes, from locked down, in-betweener, silenced GELINAZ! chefs. And like last year, they will be staying at home (again), but this time, they will support their colleagues by giving voice to the Slient Voices. The Silent Voices are the Gelinaz chefs who had to permanently or temporary close their restaurants (for covid or other reasons). If you happen to live close by or can travel, do support this event and the hospitality in general. For any further information please do check GELINAZ.

I am looking forward to introducing the curators of the events in different countries. They will present also the chefs who they engaged into the projects. In Mexico City the main curator is Sergio Meza. The dinner will happen at La Docena Polanco.

Why are you doing Gelinaz this time?

I believe it’s a great way to bond with fellow chefs, especially in these super shitty, uncertain, boring yet exciting times in which most of our lives have been kinda decimated in some ways. And in others, it has provided new opportunities and challenges we never thought we would face, which does help us learn quite a few things. Also, Petrini-san is the bomb, so why not keep the ball rolling in the most exciting food event of the year?

What is your concept?

Originally, we had structured it like a Kermesse, so that people could walk around the restaurant and choose the order in which they eat their menu, instead of a really structured one. But thanks to social distancing, we felt the best idea was to have a sit down meal in which the guest can have some freedom choosing the order of the dishes they get. You want dessert first and then your main course? You get it. Dessert in the middle and seafood salad to finish? So be it. It’s more like an interactive performance. Could it be a service shitshow? YES. Is it also the firs time something like this is done? Probably not, but in CDMX it is. And that’s what Gelinaz is all about. Playing the rules. So we’re going full on.

Why should people not miss it?

We’ve got some of the best chefs in the country, and we’re all great friends. We need this kinda thing in these times, and if we can be a Marchand de bonheur for our guests, who need this more than ever, we can promise a great time.

Who will cook together with you?

Francisco Ruano: 

He’s the main man in Guadalajara, looks like a character from Popeye (Brutus). He was the first to have a restaurant of its kind in the city, and has now gained massive recognition and an insane beard.

Elena Reygadas:

BEST.BREAD.AND.PIZZA.IN.THE.CITY. Also, she’s the sweetest. We met in Denmark in 2011 and she has since opened one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve been to, which also is one of the most delicious. A total boss, she’s the full package. Unfortunately for her fans: she’s taken.

Gabriela Camara:

She’s a person who has built some of the best teams in this industry, which is insanely complicated in a city like this, also how she has pushed the magic of Mexican food abroad. Also, this isn’t her first Gelinaz rodeo! She’s gonna kick some serious ass! If you have her tuna tostada, the world will instantly become a better place.

Ari Taymor:

We met in an event in Mexico years ago, the whole thing was dreadful, but we helped him come through and we’ve been friends since. We’ve cooked several times together, and now that he’s in a more relaxed environment (thank god he left LA) and is now in Ixtapa with his beautiful wife.

Lalo García:

The Mexican chef of chefs. Hands down one of the most hardworking people I know. And also classic AF with his food. No BS approach about business and life, you have to meet this man.

Tomás Bermúdez:

The master of fire and seafood. Best host you can hope for in this city, and also one of the best people to have in your life in general. Noble as they come, this man will also out-grill anyone I know. His talent is not only on the fire, but also on the business side. Did I mention he can throw a mean party, too?

Jose Luis Hinostroza:

Mexican Ex noma Wunderkind. We’ve partied, we’ve cooked, we’ve pretty much burned the house down. His resume speaks for itself and he’s now in Tulum. Time for the world to get wind of the new wave of Mexican food.

Joaquín Cardoso:

The best kept jewel in Mexican food. He looks innocent, but he’ll party you under the table. Trained in beyond classical food with Piege, he’s going full on at loup bar in CDMX, which is serving some of the most exciting food in town. And in a place like this, that’s no small feat.


You already received the matrixes. What was your reaction when you received them?

I could tell right away they are from a nordic chef, but it’s super exciting to have all these chefs place their point of view on something so different to the things we get here. They might not have a single thing in common with the original one, but the work is definitely gonna show.

I know you can’t say whose they are (even if you knew it), so let me know – what film would they be?

1984. Big brother is always watching.

How will you approach the matrixes and which music do you associate with your approach?

Everyone has a full carte blanche. I took a more disruptive approach, while some others were a bit more conservative. I’d say we could easily be Octavarium by Dream Theatre.

What are you looking forward to and what is the greatest challenge?

Structuring the customised menus and expediting this whole thing, also trying to get the Mexicans to behave! They’re all gonna get excited and drunk, and we’re still gonna have to take care of health standards! It’s quite tough to deal with latinos.

After Gelinaz, what comes next?

If it works out, we’ve got a pop up restaurant planned with the Docena team in Tulum, which is gonna be great for spending the winter!

Your message for the silent chefs?

I’m gonna call on Octavio Paz for this one:

Así como del fondo de la música
brota una nota
que mientras vibra crece y se adelgaza
hasta que en otra música enmudece,
brota del fondo del silencio
otro silencio, aguda torre, espada,
y sube y crece y nos suspende
y mientras sube caen
recuerdos, esperanzas,
las pequeñas mentiras y las grandes,
y queremos gritar y en la garganta
se desvanece el grito:
desembocamos al silencio
en donde los silencios enmudecen.

We’re all silent, working our asses off to get by in a situation none of us had ever experienced, so just stay silent and lets kick ass while our work says the rest! Fuck social media and awards, we’ve got each other. Silence is not bad, it is the most important thing, especially when all you expect is noise.

And for all the people in lockdowns?

Support your local eatery, but don’t be an irresponsible numb nuts. Help yourself by helping the world. This too, shall pass.




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