Ben and Andy discover what tastes better in Mexico
Mexican-mad Masterchefs Andy Allen (2012 Australia winner) and Ben Milbourne have recently returned from their Intrepid Real Food Adventure Mexico.
This food trip debunked a lot of myths about Mexican food for Ben and Andy, so we sat down with them to find out what they think now about travelling in Mexico, authentic Mexican cuisine and what tips they brought home…
Q: What are 3 things that taste better in Mexico?
Ben: “1. Beer, oh the cold, cold beer. 2. Tortillas, for the quality and the fact that they are freshly handmade. 3. Lemons, because they are actually limes!”
Andy: “Everything tastes better in Mexico! I’d add the tequila, the chillies and spices.”
Q: Did you bring a favourite recipe back from Mexico?
Ben: “I brought heaps of recipes home, but I think the fave is a flan we found in Zipolite. It was being sold by a grandmother, mother and daughter on the beach and was the best dessert we had in Mexico.”
Andy: “At the Tlacolula markets in Oaxaca. We sat down and ate a lamb hangi, which was cooked underground for 6 hours and served in a rich tomato broth. I then came home and created a chipotle braised Mexican lamb shank dish, which has become a winter warmer crowd favourite with my housemates.”
Q: What’s the first Mexican food you would tell travellers to try when they arrive?
Ben: “It depends where you are, but I would suggest going to the closest fish market and getting a ceviche.”
Q: What surprised you the most about the food in Mexico?
Andy: “The amount of flavour that Mexicans can get out of such simple and inexpensive ingredients.”
Q: Street food in Mexico – thumbs up or down?
Ben: “Huge thumbs up! The street food is king, by far and away the best food is found in markets and on the streets.”
Q: Does food play a big part in Mexican culture?
Ben: “Food is at the heart of Mexican culture. Food is what binds Mexican people together, it gives them purpose and pride.”
Andy: “Mexican food is all about the culture. It’s not just about the food, it’s about the people that you eat with.”
Q: Did you learn any new cooking techniques while you were in Mexico?
Andy: “Since coming home I’ve done a lot more barbecuing over hot coals. In Mexico there was a lot of cooking over an open fire, which is another simple and effective way to create more flavour.”
Q: Where will be next on your food travel menu?
Ben: “I would love to do either Thailand or Italy.”
Andy: “I’m so keen to get over to Spain and Morocco!”
Andy and Ben Do Mexico!
See what made Andy Allen and Ben Milbourne cry when they were in Mexico and find out how they went on the taco challenge. Follow these former Masterchef contestants as they share tasty experiences from their Mexico adventures with Intrepid Travel.