Chefs Benji Hinchliffe and Tony Lock of La Choza ran a kitchen take over of Restaurant Basaal in The Hague at the start of April 2017. Their opening event featured typical street food from the menu of La Choza in Gloucester Road, Brighton, which proved popular with families. The second night saw the two talented chefs present a five-course tasting menu, based on Benji’s recent research trip to Mexico City.
Dishes included scallop cerviche and tuna tostada with arbol chilli and sesame, and sea bass al pastor with black beans and roasted pineapple puree.
“Many people don’t think of Mexico as a place for quality dining”, says Benji. “However there are some amazing cutting-edge chefs working there including the acclaimed Enrique Olvera and Martha Ortiz”.
Chef Bas Oonk of host restaurant Basaal agrees: “My team have been inspired by the authentic ingredients and techniques that Benji and Tony have brought to the event. I’ve a totally new appreciation of Mexican food now and I’m looking forward to including elements in our menu here at Basaal”.
The visit was arranged by the Brigthon & Hove Food and Drink Festival’s International Chef Exchange programme that swaps chefs and producers from our region with partner gastronomic regions across the globe to promote food tourism and export.
“Being invited to do a kitchen take over by the Brighton food festival was a complete honour”, says Annie Gelpey, co-owner of La Choza. “I think we were all slightly nervous about what to expect but it couldn’t of been a better experience. Everything was organised perfectly, and Bas and Loes could not have been more friendly and hospitable. A huge thank you to everybody involved and experience I’ll never forget”.