On July 27, I had the opportunity to interview a world leader for the first time. I met with former Mexican President Vicente Fox at Bubba Diego’s in West L.A. He was in town to raise funds for Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum, which is in the works in his home state of Guanajuato. The Mexican restaurant is run by old friend Mario Ernst, who he knows from his Coca-Cola days. Before he sat down to dinner, Presidente Fox took a few minutes to discuss Mexican food and finding food internationally.
What do you think it will take for Mexican cuisine to get the respect it deserves internationally?
The first step was growing and expanding throughout the world. Today, you’ll find Mexican cuisine in Peru, in China, in Japan, Europe, of course North America, but now it’s sophistication time. Now it’s improving, it’s making those meals in a modern style. We have a lot of new chefs in Mexico who have become international. So I think it’s doing great. If you go with Corona beer and tequila, much better, that food will be.
You travel so much internationally. How do you decide where to eat when you are away from Mexico?
Usually what we try to do is to taste the local food. If we’re in India, we go to Indian places and restaurants. In China, we go to them, Korea, or Japan. But if we’re there for two or three days, we always like, also, to taste the Mexican food in that place. It’s a great diversity because tacos are generic, but a taco in Korea is different than a taco in Brazil or a taco in the United States. That’s why we like to taste Mexican food wherever we go, but first we try local food.
What are a few of the restaurants that you back to repeatedly in Mexico City, and how come?
There are many that are very, very international, like the Champs Elysees…like the Belinghausen, but then you have the Mexican, real ones. You will find the Plaza de Mariachi and Rincón Tapatío. Or you’ll find haciendas, old haciendas, like we’ve got on our own place, on our own ranch. We have a restaurant in a small boutique hotel, which is part of the foundation that we raise funds for Centro Fox Presidential Library. This is the Rancho San Cristobal, with magnificent Mexican, the real Mexican food out of the rural areas. So we have gorditas de horno, we have mole, the best mole and enchiladas. We do have rice and so many other great things of the Mexican cuisine, but from rural areas.