Mexican revolution in food
COTTESLOE resident Courtney James Smith recalls listening to records in one corner of Planet Video, Mt Lawley, and buying clothes out the back.
The iconic site is now home to his newest Guzman Y Gomez restaurant, which opened this month.
Smith, who opened the first WA Guzman Y Gomez Mexican restaurant in Northbridge 18 months ago, said the food was made-to-order and authentic Mexican.
Despite Beaufort Street being tagged the ‘Mexican mile’, he said people would realise Guzman Y Gomez was different to other Mexican offerings.
Smith was born in New York but spent much of his childhood in Canada and he owned a bar in Vancouver.
He got food and beverage experience working at Must Winebar, Luxe Bar and The Brisbane Hotel before opening Guzman Y Gomez in Northbridge.
Guzman Y Gomez founder Steven Marks was in Perth for the official opening on September 11, where the restaurant gave away 4486 free burritos.
The New Yorker worked in hedge funds before moving to Bondi where the Guzman Y Gomez concept was born.
“What people thought was Mexican was not,” Marks, a father of two daughters, said.
He opened his first restaurant in Newtown in October, 2006, and Mt Lawley is the 44th Australian Guzman Y Gomez, which was named after
two of Marks’ friends.
Luis Guzman and Mike Gomez got the naming honours but images of their dads are the cornerstone of the brand, along with the artwork.
Marks said his aim was to have the biggest urban artwork collection in the world.
He said every Guzman Y Gomez restaurant had an original artwork by one of several Mexican artists who he had sought out.
Every restaurant is also a fundraising site for Mision Mexico, a refuge for neglected and abused street kids in the south of Mexico.
Guzman y Gomez founder Steven Marks and WA developer Courtney James Smith.