Carlos Medina has been serving up food from his native Mexico since he was 12.
Even before he began working in restaurants in Mexico City, he was in the kitchen learning the culinary traditions from his mother.
Having moved to Vernon (via Trail) a year ago, Medina and Colombian wife Lorena Correa are bringing that authentic Hispanic flavour to Azteca Mexican Restaurant. They also operate a grocery store called Mi Tierra Mexican Products.
“We decided to leave Mexico and have a better life somewhere else,” said Medina, regarding his move to Canada.
“We looked at the area first and went ‘Wow, this is beautiful.’”
Making everything on the menu fresh from scratch, Medina said the food at Azteca is “authentic, with a little spice and flavour. We are very flexible – we can do not spicy, medium spicy, or for the people who like it hot, we can do super spicy.
“People sometimes get confused with Tex-Mex and the authentic. We can show them the authentic way to cook.”
Some of the traditional dishes on offer include pollo con mole (chicken in a savoury chocolate sauce) and chile relleno (stuffed, roasted, fresh pepper).
Through Mi Tierra, home cooks have an opportunity to create their own Mexican dishes using staple ingredients such as dried peppers, corn tortillas, masa (corn flour) and mole.
Medina is in the process of transferring Mi Tierra from its location on 30th Ave. to the restaurant on Highway 6 (beside Tim Hortons).