The Unique Style of Top Chef Katsuji Tanabe of MexiKosher and Barrio


Before, Chef Katsuji Tanabe made it big, MCCN met him at the Taste of Mexico Event in Los Angeles back in 2012.  Not only did he dazzle us but he dazzled everyone causing long lines with word of mouth.

Chef Tanabe, was born in Mexico to a Japanese father and Mexican mother.   If not being unique was not enough, he brought creativity to his cuisine mastering Kosher Mexican.   The charming and talented chef would eventually go on to win the bragging rights of Top Chef on the Bravo competition.

He’s closed the doors to his Los Angeles establishment and set up shop at 100 W. 83rd in Manhattan, NY.   He also helms a restaurant in Chicago called Barrio at the corner of Clark and Kenzie.

Let’s Flashback to our 2012 interview and check the chef’s Kosher tequila sorbet creation by way of liquid nitrogen technique.


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Taste and See: Taste of Mexico 2020


The 2020 Taste of Mexico appeals to all five senses with cuisine and libations from each of the 32 Mexican states, and three music stages, comedy pavilion, live art, Spirits Awards, contests y mas!

For information visit

MCCN has attended the event repeatedly over the years and it is worth checking out.  See Video our past coverage:



MCCN Review of 2013 Taste of Mexico (Los Angeles)

Loteria Grill is one of the most exciting new restaurants in Los Angeles.

The Taste of Mexico Association set out in it’s ignaugural year to prove to the world the culinary scene of Mexico is about more than taco yet a great deal of the vendors this year served…tacos.  Now, these were for the most part not ordinary tacos.  Mexikosher’s Chef and Food Network’s Chopped champion served deep fried smelt (full length little fish)  on tacos.

Deep Fried Smelt from Mexico and yes, the editor took a bite out of the tortilla.

In an interesting twist, quite a bit of ceviches was served on chips including a magnificent octopus ceviche and halibut ceviche.  The flavors and fusion were certainly a culinary explosion for the tongue pero(but) mostly on chips or tortillas.

The reason may be that in the first year of the event, there were only four restaurants involved.  Those four restaurants are the core/founders which are Frida, La Casita Mexicana, La Monarca and Guelaguetza.  Although, the first year had a good attendance it was definitely catering to a smaller crowd.  Maybe bigger crowds translates to faster food.

A unique component of this year’s event was the Mezcal tasting area.  The restaurant association did successfully introduce a multitude of people Mezcal.  What pork is to chicken as the other white meat then Mezcal is to tequila as an authentic drink offering from Mexico.  Click Here to learn more about Mezcal.

Nevertheless, a good time was to be had.  There was more space.  Being an outdoor event for the first time gave it a great feel.   For an early October event the weather for the evening was perfect until the cooler temps at about 8 PM.  It seemed like more parents brought children.  There were not a lot of children but a few sightings.   Live Mariachi performed through the night.  Baked goods from La Monarca, chile relleno and taquitos from Casa Oaxaca.  Guelaguetza promtoed their signature Micheladas in bottled form.  It is best to come early when the crowds pile in after 6:30 pm the lines to get your taste of food become longer.

Watch Highlights from the 2013 Taste of Mexico

2nd Annual Taste of Mexico – Bigger and Better

2nd Annual Taste of Mexico

2nd Annual Taste of Mexico

Good drinks, amazing food and scene stealing dessert make the 2nd annual Taste of Mexico a night to remember.  You may eat small portions but you can be full from endless morserls in 30 minutes at the Taste of Mexico.  LA’s Top restaurants showcased fusion and upscale presentation of Mexican cuisine.  In 2010 only the four restaurants that comprise the Taste of Mexico Association were serving food.  This time restaurant like famed Chef Rick Bayless,  Red O restaurant was serving up divine pork sopes prepared by  MCCN friend and executive Chef Efren Cardenas.  Official founding Taste of Mexico Association restaurants are Frida Mexican Cuisine, Guelaguetza, La Casita Mexicana and La Monarca. Major brands such as Tapatio, Avocados from Mexico and Goya were providing product for vendors or serving up brand recipes.

Dessert of Mexico featured by La Monarca Bakery

Dessert of Mexico featured by La Monarca Bakery

The event was well attended and brought out a more ethnically diverse crowd than the first Taste of Mexico event.  The first hour VIP’s were invited to a tequila tasting before anticipated long lines.    Food ranged from tortas to tres leches to various moles.  If there was one thing that was better at the first Taste of Mexico, it  was the entertainment line up.  This year the musical program seemed disjointed and inconsistent.  However, food was the star of this event.  There was also a tent set up outside with vendors.

MCCN host Dave Miller got a chance to interview  Chef Katsuji Tanabe of Mexikosher.  Yes, there is  kosher Mexican food.  Everyone was talking about the creamy delicious taste of the  Tequila Sorbet served and made on the premises by Mexikosher.  The mole was pretty amazing.  The variety flavors popping  were extraordinary.

Watch Interview and Tequila Sorbet process