The 2nd Annual Tucson 23 – A Mexican Food Festival is set to make this Saturday one of the most unforgettable culinary experiences of the summer. Before the main event kicks off, we’re happy to have one of Tucson’s great chefs serving up an exclusive VIP dinner experience on Friday night, June 16th. We sat down with the Executive Chef of Elvira’s Restaurant – Downtown Tucson, Michael Byrer, to discuss what inspiration went into some of the night’s delicious courses and what kinds of unique pairings you can expect to find.
Southwestern and Mexican cooking is iconic thanks to so many delectable ingredients, but few are as well-known as dried chilies and nopales. Whether paired together or separately, Byrer promises to infuse these ingredients into many of the courses in ways that are both delightfully unfamiliar and comforting. “We want our guests to walk away feeling like they got a chance to experience Mexican and Southwestern flavors in a new way without omitting the comforting familiar ingredients of the region,” says Byrer, “Infusing classical dishes from around the world like duck confit with the spice of Mexican cuisine is something you won’t experience anywhere else in the country.” Byrer prides himself on bringing world cuisine into the culture of our traditional Tucson offerings with a bang. “One of our most unique dishes we’re serving tonight is a Scallop Ceviche with a Lemon Grass, Wasabi, and Lime Broth, with a side of Chayote Squash topped with Chili Oil and Fried Shallots.”
Byrer was eager to get back to completing his menu for this amazing Friday night, but before we let him go we asked what he would want his guests to remember going into this VIP dinner. “The most important thing to remember with our dishes is Spice and Balance. Those two words are more important than anything. Nailing that balance between heat and our other flavors takes an amazing amount of practice and trial and error.” Friday’s VIP Dinner is sure to please so don’t miss out! Limited seating is still available to so make your reservation now! Call (520) 791-6064 for tickets and details.