Two Toronto Mexican restaurants co-owned by star chef Grant van Gameren have some of the food-friendliest tequila pairings around. For citrus-fresh unaged tequila, “a beautiful, bright ceviche would be the obvious choice,” says Julio Guajardo, one of the chefs who helped open El Ray and now co-helms the kitchen at Quetzal. Openflame cooking is one of Quetzal’s traditional regional cuisine features, and “a nice fatty rib steak or a beautiful grilled Ontario pork chop would be a great match” with reposado or añejo, says fellow chef Kate Chomyshyn. The chefs like añejo with dessert flavours like chocolate, orange, nuts and warm spices like cinnamon, clove and anise.
Think about incorporating crunch, cool creaminess and palate-cleansing acidity: a dish like El Ray’s smoked-marlin tostado with cucumber, mayonnaise and habanero hits all the right notes.
Sweet: Strawberry, watermelon, nuts, spice Fresh: Iceberg lettuce, cucumber, green onion, cilantro Sour: Pickled onions and veggies, citrus fruits Creamy: Queso, avocado, cashew, mayonnaise