Josh Zapata at Design Film Firm
San Antonio chef Rico Torres (left) will appear on Hulu's new original series, 'Taste the Nation.'
Rico Torres, chef-owner of San Antonio modernist Mexican restaurant Mixtli, will appear in the inaugural episode of Taste the Nation
, a new Hulu series hosted by Top Chef
’s Padma Lakshmi.
Taste the Nation
explores the term "melting pot" by chronicling Lakshmi’s journeys to different parts of the United States as she engages in conversations with immigrant groups about what American food is today.
Torres — a Food & Wine
Best New Chef and James Beard Foundation semifinalist — is half of the culinary master team behind Mixtli, which operates from a converted boxcar in the Olmos Park neighborhood. Mixtli dinners feature eight or 10 courses centered around a specific region of Mexico, focusing on tradition and telling that region's authentic food story.
"The show is a really special take on where American food comes from,” Torres told the Current
. "We’re a country of immigrants, and every generation before us has brought something to the table, making up the culinary landscape we see today."
"I was kind of sick of everybody else telling 'the immigrant story,'" Lakshmi said in an Instagram post
about the upcoming series. "I really wanted to give voice to communities that we don’t hear from in a mainstream way.”
For his spot on the show, Torres met Lakshmi in his hometown of El Paso. In the segment, Torres shared his experiences of life and food on the border and explained how they contribute to a rich culture.
"We roasted chiles, braised pork and drank mezcal ... and chatted about the political changes we're seeing,” Torres said. "There are a lot of misinterpretations of what it’s like to grow up on the border, and it was really cool to be a part of the conversation [Lakshmi] is putting out there."
Hulu subscribers can catch the SA chef on the premiere episode of Taste the Nation
, which drops Thursday.
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