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The 12 Best Lines from René Redzepi's NYT Taco Quest

New York Times writer Jeff Gordinier profiles chefs René Redzepi and Danny Bowien as they journey through Mexico on a taco quest. Throughout the nearly 3,800-word piece, Redzepi talks on end about his love of Mexican food, calling the cuisine "a 'sleeping giant' about to wake up with a roar." Redzepi also expounds upon the wonders of al pastor tacos, mole, and local produce. Below, the 12 best lines:

1) Gordinier on Redzepi's food highs: "Over the years there have been pilgrims who have traveled to Mexico to experience mind alteration with buttons of peyote, but for Redzepi, a man who is often referred to as the greatest chef in the world, transcendence comes in the form of enfrijoladas."

2) Gordinier on enfrijoladas: "It's classic peasant food — simple and satisfying, with an aesthetic that suggests a big smudge on a plate."

3) Gordinier on meeting Redzepi for the first time: "Much to my surprise, Redzepi carried himself with a bright, self-effacing, surfer-like casualness. He seemed practically Californian."

4) Redzepi on the rise of Mexican cuisine: "He liked to say that for decades — centuries, really — the indigenous spirit of Mexican cooking had been muffled, like the ruins of a Mayan temple buried beneath a Catholic church put up by Spanish conquerors."

5) Gordinier on Redzepi's life plans: "…He planned to eat, talk and swoon his way through Mexico City, Oaxaca, Tulum, and Mérida. The most influential chef on the planet was about to embark on the ultimate taco quest."

6) Gordinier on Redzepi's manifesto: "He comes across as a man with a mission, and his overriding manifesto might boil down to this: Look more deeply. There is so much around us to relish."

7) Gordinier on tacos al pastor: "All you need to know is that when the gods find themselves hunting for drunk food after a bender on Mount Olympus, these tacos are what they want."

8) Redzepi on his first authentic tacos al pastor experience: "I couldn't believe it. My virginity was taken. In the best possible way."

9) Redzepi on a a strange fruit: "'This is the weirdest fruit I've seen...this is like something from a Tim Burton movie.' Werner says he doesn't even know what to call it. Redzepi suggests 'torpedo fruit.'"

10) Redzepi on chef Enrique Olvera's mole: 'There isn't a Danish designer from the '50s who wouldn't have an orgasm looking at this,' he says."

11) Gordinier on Redzepi in an Oaxacan market: "He plows through it like Bugs Bunny on a carrot bender."

12) Redzepi on Tulum: "…Have a swim in the Caribbean sea. That's better than 15,000 Xanax."

· In Search of the Perfect Taco [NYT]
· All René Redzepi Coverage on Eater [-E-]