Alejandra & Jorge Vallejo’s #BestMealEver

When asked about her #BestMealEver, Alejandra Vallejo didn’t hesitate. “Mine has to be pasta in bed, with a cheese sauce, mushrooms and sausage—very simple really,” she said. “But he goes to the kitchen, prepares it and brings it back to bed,” she added, referring to her husband Chef Jorge Vallejo. As the co-owners of Mexico City restaurant Quintonil—which ranked No. 21 on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015—this husband-and-wife team knows a thing or two about hospitality and haute cuisine. Known as one of the new generation of Mexican chefs, Jorge Vallejo was born in Mexico City, starting his career cooking at small restaurants in his hometown. After completing culinary school, Chef Vallejo was mentored by Enrique Olvera at the pioneering chef’s restaurant Pujol. Jorge met Alejandra at Pujol in 2010, and the couple opened their first restaurant, Quintonil, last year.

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Quintonil

Focused on the reinvention of traditional Mexican favorites, the year-old Quintonil pushes boundaries. Known as an innovator, Jorge combines exciting cooking techniques with locally sourced native ingredients, such as the signature quintonil (Spanish for amaranth greens). A standout Quintonil dish is fried huazontles with cheese from Chiapas, served with tomato salsa and habanero chile. Alejandra oversees the friendly and professional front-of-house service with the cozy, relaxed environment that adds a memorable experience for diners.

The couple was inspired by the French Laundry, which Jorge described as their “favorite restaurant.” The acclaimed Napa Valley restaurant, opened in 1994, is renowned not only for Thomas Keller’s refined classic French cuisine, but also for its quaint stone farmhouse, quality ingredients and outstanding guest service. In fact, the French Laundry has resulted in a #BestMealEver experience for Alejandra and Jorge Vallejo on several occasions.

“Dining there, we learned the importance of establishing bonds with your context, with your clients and employees,” observed Jorge. “This is what makes it possible to have a perfect restaurant and to offer a perfect dining experience,” added Jorge. “There [at French Laundry] we experienced some of our best moments as diners,” he concluded.

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