Tiradito de salmon ceviche at La Tablita in Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights, Dubai Healthcare City Tiradito de salmon ceviche at La Tablita in Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights, Dubai Healthcare City

How would you describe Mexican cuisine and how popular is it in this region?

Daniel Hurtado: Traditional Mexican cuisine is the fusion of two cultures: native pre-Hispanic and Spanish. Mexican food is becoming very popular in this region — there are 10 different Mexican restaurants that I know of in Dubai that have opened in the past five years, and there are new ones on the way.

Oscar Rito: There is a tendency around the world to perceive typical Mexican cuisine is only street food. However, many Mexican chefs are highly awarded for showcasing traditional Mexican cuisine for its authenticity, originality and creativity in dishes whilst respecting the cooking process. The popular trend in the GCC region is for restaurants to offer tacos and a few traditional dishes with a focus on sharing, which brings in great business. I wish restaurants would showcase authentic Mexican dishes because many people think that nachos and fajitas are Mexican, which is not true.

Jimmy Rojas Lopez: Mexico is a big country, and its cuisine equally diverse. Flavours and cooking styles vary from one region to another, but the theme that runs throughout is a feeling of comfort. Our food is about combining the best of simple ingredients with a traditional cooking style to create dishes that are full of flavour, passion, culture and history. This region had, until recently, widely recognised Mexican food in its mainstream fast food form. Now, with an influx of Latin American cuisines and fine dining, the community is discovering the true essence of such dishes. In Mexico, tacos are rated by the quality of their soft tortillas as well as their salsas and meats. Taco for us Mexicans is all about the tortilla, just as sushi for the Japanese is all about the rice.

Juan Flores Nava: Mexican cuisine represents a culture that is diverse and colourful. The best part is that ingredients are mostly simple but used to great effect.

Humberto Canales: Mexican cuisine is rich in culture and tradition, and can satisfy most palates. This is evidenced by the popularity of Mexican food all over the world.

What trends have you noticed in Mexican cuisine?

Hurtado: More restaurants are trying to create the authentic Mexican experience that can go with good food. Mexicans are known to be load, outgoing, and always cheery. At La Tablita we are ourselves, which means we go a little crazy sometimes. I think guests can see that we are having a good time.

Rito: Using new cooking styles along with original processes when preparing a dish. Also, exotic and high quality products are used with simple base ingredients like the classic handmade corn tortillas.

Matthew Schaeffer: Globally, the cuisine is stepping away from the Mexican food people know as being very American in style — think hard shell tacos and fat, cheesy, saucy burritos. This is very different to what the food in Mexico is actually like, and we are seeing the likes of Melbourne and New York incorporate dishes that are light and fresh.

Flores Nava: We believe in evolving but we also believe in the basics of great quality, fresh produce and great recipes. I think we will see a trend back towards mid-range dining and sharing, as well as the pop-up and food truck culture that has been huge in Europe.

Canales: The current trend is getting back to basics, using traditional ingredients that we have taken for granted. This often involves simplifying recipes and allowing authentic ingredients to shine, from farm to table, rather than trying to impress by adding extravagant ingredients and methodologies. This leaves room to get creative with presentation, without diminishing the final product and taste.

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