a new wave of plant based mexican cooking 92sy9tLK

Etérea, the vegan and gluten-free restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village, offers a variety of innovative plant-based dishes. Here, from the top left, are zucchini tacos.Credit…Daniel Terna

Mexican cuisine using plant-based ingredients

A handful of chefs from North America have begun to redefine plant-based Mexican cooking in recent years. At the El Paso and Austin, Texas-based Lick It Up, 38-year-old Edgar Delfín serves traditional border dishes like flautas stuffed with potatoes and beans, as well as vegan variants like burritos with soy chorizo and mushrooms. At their restaurant Xochitl Vegan in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, Stephanie Villegas and Dino Ponce, both 33, fill their tacos with marinated hibiscus flowers and make decadent carnitas — the emblematic Michoacán pork dish — by frying crisp, fibrous enoki mushrooms in grapeseed and avocado oils. And in New York City, the restaurant and masa mill For All Things Good serves triangular pockets of masa called tetelas, stuffed with black beans and epazote, alongside comal-crisped sopes (flat rounds of masa with pinched-up edges) topped with wild mushrooms sautéed with mezcal. For her menu at the East Village mezcal and tequila bar Etérea, 27-year-old Xila Caudillo, originally from Southern California, recently debuted dishes like corn ribs elote — crispy-sweet parentheses of yellow corn spangled with smoked paprika — and an ingenious tostada that replaces translucent sheaths of tuna with jewels of tomato concassé cured in tamari and seaweed.

Vegetable-forward cooking is hardly new in Mexican cuisine; it has deep roots in Indigenous cultures and a strong presence in Mexico City’s culinary identity. Condesa and Roma have been home to vegan taquerias like La Pitahaya for many years. These tortillas are made with amaranth and sesame and filled with curried potatoes and hibiscus piibil. But vegetable-based antojitos (literally “little cravings”) are as ubiquitous as their meaty counterparts at street stalls that turn out squash blossom quesadillas and football-shaped patties of masa called tlacoyos, stuffed with black beans or mashed favas and topped with nopales, salsa and an optional flurry of cheese. Some of the metro area’s most compelling vegetable-forward dishes come not out of vegan kitchens but rather from restaurants like Expendio de Maíz in the Colonia Roma, and Xoletongo, which is a 90-minute drive east of the city in Tlaxcala, both of which draw on the traditions of rural communities for whom costly meat remains an important but often secondary part of their diet. These spots are known for their meat-based moles, but they are often overshadowed by the fundamental ingredients of Mesoamerican agriculture — corn and squash, beans and chiles, wild greens and foraged mushroom. Dishes such as these are not intended to be innovative, but they have started to expand perceptions, particularly in the United States, of what constitutes Mexican cooking — and, by extension, the depth and diversity of Mexican identity itself. — Michael Snyder


Many celebrity-backed brands have emerged from the popularity of nail art, polish, and acrylics for men.Credit…Photo by Kristiina. Tak Okamura, manicure. Model: Payton Barronian

Lavish Nail Looks Great for Everyone

Though showboating glam rockers have long flirted with nail art — a practice that may date back to 3200 B.C., when southern Babylonian soldiers were thought to have carried gold manicure sets — today’s men seem to have embraced digital embellishment in a more sustained way. Last year, the musicians Tyler, the Creator; Machine Gun Kelly; Harry Styles; and Lil Yachty each released gender-neutral collections of nail polish (Tyler’s Golf le Fleur line includes a glitter option in a flower-topped bottle; Styles’s Pleasing offers shades such as Inky Pearl and Granny’s Pink Pearls). Yet such entrepreneurial endeavors shouldn’t be a surprise, as flamboyance has always found a home in nail art. The designer Marc Jacobs has flaunted a variety of looks on his fingers by the New York City-based nail artist Mei Kawajiri, from crystal-rimmed blue opals (to match his bejeweled vape pen) to Art Nouveau-inspired homages to the queer pioneers Sylvia Rivera and Stormé DeLarverie. ASAP Rocky and ASAP Ferg showed off nails with hand-painted renditions of Frankenstein, Dennis Rodman, and Bad Bunny, a Puerto Rican trap sensation wore domino-covered nails to cover a magazine last fall. Lil Nas X is the most famous example of this manicure, sporting a matching set of grills and a diamond manicure that cost $58,000. All nails? At least in theory. — Nick Haramis


Ugo Bienvenu’s illustration of a vibrant beachside town appears on a classic Hermès scarf.Credit…Courtesy of Hermès

A silk scarf depicting a beautiful beach scene

In the Hermès universe, the silk scarf can be a window onto a whole world. The house’s first carré (French for “square”) was released in 1937 and, in the decades since, it has originated more than 2,500 designs, all made by hand. This season, the French illustrator Ugo Bienvenu (who has collaborated with Hermès on several occasions) designed a scarf depicting a beachside promenade, where bathers gather in the surf and frolic on an enormous chessboard. The artist has cited the legendary Japanese animator and director Hayao Miyazaki as an influence and, indeed, Bienvenu’s short films and drawings are a visual feast — in this case, as densely populated as a “Where’s Waldo” book — with a science fiction sensibility more in line with that of the French artist Jean Giraud (otherwise known as Moebius). Still, with just a few twists or folds, Bienvenu’s magical world can be tucked away in plain sight, revealing the subtle beauty of an intricate accessory. $435, hermes.com. — Jameson Montgomery


The Azores Wine Company, Pico Island, offers a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean through one of seven bedrooms.Credit…Francisco Nogueira Photography, courtesy Azores Wine Company

An Auberge on Pico Island With Atlantic Views — and Wine

In the 18th century, the wines from the Azorean islands of Pico and Faial (now part of Portugal) were so coveted that Thomas Jefferson, then serving as the American minister in France, ordered bottles from the region — despite his access to French wines. In the late 1800s, the islands’ viticulture was devastated by disease but, today, the Azores Wine Company is one of several passionate producers that are reviving these rare, acidic varietals, one of which you can taste for yourself at the company’s newly opened five-suite auberge (with an adjoining two-room apartment) on Pico overlooking the Atlantic. The Brutalist-inspired building with its facade made of black basalt is as striking and beautiful as the lunar landscape. Wine tastings are available. Guests can also enjoy modern tapas such as grilled limpets or sashimi made with freshly caught amberjack. Rooms starting at $230 [email protected]. — Gisela Williams

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