Tag Archives: Mexico

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with El Jaguar

Originally from the streets of Guadalajara, Mexico, luchador wrestler turned comic, El Jaguar is returning to New Zealand with a brand new show, Telenovela. Be prepared to weep on command, get caught up in a love triangle, grow a thin moustache, and fall in love with all the characters and their cheesy accents.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Melodrama! Margaritas! Mexicans!

What’s the inspiration behind it?
The desire to write, direct, and star in my own Mexican soap opera.

Where will we find you during the festival?
If not in a death battle with Giapo the gelato king, then probably flyering my show on Queen Street.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
El Jaguar swipes both ways.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
Is Foster Brooks coming?

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
If ‘Shape of Water’ had Dwayne Johnson playing all the characters.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Season 5 of M*A*S*H.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
“Weird” Al’s Hamilton Polka,Xanadu” by ONJ, and the Coco Soundtrack.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Probably sleep. Or frozen Cokes.

World Association:
Comedy- piñatas
New Zealand – laser kiwi
Woke – snooze button
Adulting – food porn
Basic – as
Trend – Minature Schnauzer crossed with a Malteaser.
Joke – see above.

El Jaguar plays 16 – 19 May at Auckland’s The Classic as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo. Buy your tickets now.

humans of mac+mae: Macayla Chapman

Travel is something that inspires me daily and I’m pretty sure it is something I will never grow tired of no matter how old I get or how much I wander.  We have based our business on travel, inspiring others with the idyllic images we take on our journeys and translating them into luxury printed cashmere scarves and resort wear that evokes memories of adventure and fun.  

The image I have chosen is of Tulum in Mexico – my next travel destination come October! Fifteen years ago I visited Tulum and can’t wait to return as it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been . The magical landscape, sensational food, vibrant culture and azure blue ocean of this eco coastal wonderland are some of the things I can’t  wait to experience again.

To me this image shows the raw beauty of this destination, a simple colour palette that is inspirational in every way, it makes me feel happy looking at it, so natural and uninterrupted – absolute perfection!

Macayla Chapman is the founder and designer of Bird & Knoll, a luxury designer accessories brand created in Australia for the world.  Known for their signature luxurious oversized cashmere-blend scarves, each scarf is tells a story of an iconic destination.

Bird & Knoll recently collaborated with fellow luxury brand Zoe & Morgan, to create three lightweight travel scarves showcasing inspirational “wanderlust” details from their travel archives.  Check out the inspired collection.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

heard | Chow Town at the Big Day Out

There’s nothing like mediocre, overpriced food to put a damper on any festival experience. Fear not, because the Big Day Out, New Zealand’s biggest music festival, has decided to ditch the sausages on sticks this year in favour of cuisine epic enough to match their rock star lineup. A bevy of New Zealand’s hottest chefs will be on hand in Chow Town to serve up some of their signature dishes in portable festival fashion.


Outside this restaurant are signs that say “Food of the People”. Indeed, Baduzzi’s New York-Italian inspired food is steeped in culinary tradition. The name means “meatball” in Sicilian. If you’re looking for food that is comforting and hearty but still maintains a sophisticated taste pallet, Chow Town has you covered.

Who: executive chef Ben Bayly


  • Wagyu meatball Grinder w salsa verde & onion gravy
  • Muffuletta of Spit roasted pig w olive salad & granny’s pickles
  • Strawberry and crème fraiche sundae with Pimms jelly and almond crumble


The strong, spicy flavours of Southern American cooking have been enjoying a great vogue lately. Conjuring up magical Creole and Cajun flavours, Orleans will transport you back to the bluesy Deep South. If you love a hearty gumbo that warms your soul, this is the place to be at Chow Town.

Who: executive chef Sam Campbell


  • Sweet corn esquites in a cup with chipotle butter, blackened onion and lime crema, coriander, magic powder, queso seco and candied sesame
  • Young coconut “Prawn Coctél” with spiced Amarillo salsa asada, avocado, chicharron, pickled heirloom carrot
  • Charred Pork “Pibil” taco in achiote with pineapple pico de gallo, citrus cured red onion, green mint, jalapeno and salted peanut salsa

The Blue Breeze Inn

No greasy takeaways here. Authentic Chinese food with a modern touch can be found in the oriental surrounding of The Blue Breeze Inn. This restaurant features an open kitchen bar where you can watch the Chinese-trained chefs dexterously fold, stuff and pinch to create dumpling packages lighter than clouds or expertly handle flaming woks. Easy to carry, filling and delicious, char siu bao (or bbq pork buns) are this writer’s personal favourite festival/market food.

Who: executive chef Che Barrington


  • Chairman Bao – Red braised Berkshire pork belly, red vinegar picked cucumber, coriander, hoisin sauce
  • Crispy Chicken – Free range crispy fried chicken, Sriracha chilli sauce, crushed peanuts,Taiwanese red sugar, black garlic oil
  • Wagyu bao – Pulled Wagyu beef rump, sweet pickled nashi pear, black bean chilli sauce

Federal Delicatessen

If you’d prefer something closer to festival food but with a bit more panache, look no further than Federal Delicatessen, whose head chef takes his inspiration from classic Americana and gutsy street food.

Who: head chef Kyle Street


  • Street Dog – NYC-style hot dog w/ cart relish
  • Chicken Hoagie – Chicken salad roll w/ chicken skin cracklin’, iceberg, gravy
  • Montreal Poutine – Fries, cheese curds & gravy
  • NY Cheesecake – Baked cheesecake with fresh strawberries


Aucklanders have been raving about Mexico since it opened. The restaurant has become the hottest lunch destination in town. With a dash of lime and the scent of fresh coriander, this Mexican street food inspired menu comes alive with flavor and colour.

Who: executive chef Javier Carmona


  • Sweet corn esquites in a cup with chipotle butter, blackened onion and lime crema, coriander, magic powder, queso seco and candied sesame
  • Young coconut “Prawn Coctél” with spiced Amarillo salsa asada, avocado, chicharron, pickled heirloom carrot
  • Charred Pork “Pibil” taco in achiote with pineapple pico de gallo, citrus cured red onion, green mint, jalapeno and salted peanut salsa


Healthy with clean, pure flavours, contemporary Japanese food is definitely an oddity at a music festival. However, a much welcomed one to be served up with style by MASU. Just because you enjoy rock music does not mean you cannot appreciate elegant flavours when you taste them.

Who: executive chef Nic Watt


  • Steamed Edamame with sea salt
  • Salmon tataki, karashi miso, lime soy
  • Master stock baby back pork ribs, cashew nut and sancho salt
  • Chicken wings, glazed with ginger and mirin

heard | BDO introduces Chow Town in 2014

As New Zealand’s premier contemporary music festival, Big Day Out has always championed great artists from the musical and visual world. For 2014 they’re embracing the art of creating great festival food as part of the expanding BDO experience.

Proving that really GOOD food should be egalitarian and everywhere, the concept is called ‘Chow Town’ and is named after the tasty town from sister festival, Lollapalooza in Chicago.

The New Zealand version of Chow Town will provide music lovers with another dimension to their Big Day Out; a taste experience from some of NZ’s headlining and award-winning chefs with their signature, hand held dishes.

The BDO rock star chefs of Chow Town are:

·      Baduzzi – Ben Bayly

·      The Blue Breeze Inn – Che Barrington

·      Federal Delicatessen – Kyle Street

·      Masu – Nic Watt

·      Mexico – Javier Carmona

·      Orleans – Sam Campbell

“The Big Day Out has always been about experiencing new acts as well as favourite headliners. We’ve taken the same approach with food” says Auckland promoter Campbell Smith.

“These fantastic chefs are the new rock stars of the kitchen and Chow Town will be a culinary voyage of exploration at the Auckland Big Day Out.

“They’ve all created exclusive menus for the Big Day Out and we are excited to showcase their talent and celebrate their genius alongside our equally incredible musical line-up.”


 Pearl Jam  *  Arcade Fire * Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion

  *  Major Lazer  * The Naked And Famous * Steve Angello 

*  The Lumineers  *  Tame Impala * Dillon Francis  *  Mac Miller *  Ghost  *  Grouplove  *  Flosstradamus  *Portugal. The Man 

* Toro Y Moi  *  Mudhoney  * The 1975 * Primus * CSS

* The Phoenix Foundation  *   SJD 

* P-Money  *  Ladi6  *  Beastwars  *  Concord Dawn 

* Clap Clap Riot  *  Kody Nielson *  Randa  *  PleasePlease * Villainy * DPTRCLB DJs * Prowler


via www.bigdayout.com


Friday 17 January ~ Western Springs, Auckland

1DP | Day 41 of 100 Days, 100 Individuals

What do you get when you mix a former award-winning Art Director and a renowned Artist, a passion for cooking and a honeymoon in California?  The Lucky Taco, a true Californian food truck experience.

Meet Sarah Frizzell.  After experiencing what Californian food trucks had to offer, she and her husband Otis decided it was time New Zealand got in on the action.  After two years of eating an endless amount of tacos (all in the name of research of course), cooking lessons in Mexico City and using their friends as guinea pigs, their dream became a reality and their brand was born.  We talk to her on Day 41 of our 100 Day Project.

What’s your biggest fear?
Losing my mojo.

What’s your purpose in life?
To leave a legacy.
What are you passionate about?
Food and my husband. (and my cat).
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Everyone has a dirty little secret, what’s yours?
I have OCD, nothing is dirty.
If today was your last day on earth, what would you do?
Eat well. Drink plenty. Take drugs. And tell everyone i love them.
What is your happy place?
On the sofa with my husband and cat.

What will you be doing for the rest of 2013?
Building an empire. One taco at a time.

The Lucky Taco can usually be found parked on Ponsonby Road.  See their Facebook page for more specific days, times and locations.



seen | Reportero

The closing shot is of veteran journalist and protagonist Sergio Haro behind the wheel of his car. It is nighttime, but it is more likely he is driving to a story or to the office than home. He says, “For the rest of my life, I only want to be a reporter.” The question is, when you are a reporter in Mexico exposing drug trafficking and the corrupt people behind it, how long is your life?

Reportero, a documentary by Bernardo Ruiz, follows Sergio Haro as he works for Semanario Zeta, a Tijuana newspaper known for its confrontational editorial stance on drugs and organized crime. It charts the history of Zeta and the past murders of colleagues that weigh heavily on the minds of those still practicing investigative journalism.

The journalists equivocate for only a nanosecond, verbalizing the secret temptation to just make life easier and self-censor, ignore certain stories or even change profession completely. However, the steely resolution always returns to their spines. They will not be complicit. They will fight for freedom of speech. They will risk their lives for truth. The bravery of and within the documentary is inspiring to say the least.

In 1988, one of the co-founders of Zeta, Héctor “El Gato” Félix Miranda, known for mocking politicians and the elite, was murdered. The mastermind behind his murder was never investigated, and was even elected mayor of Tijuana. After publishing the photo of a drug lord of the Félix Cartel, the other co-founder of Zeta, Jesús Blancornelas, managed to survive an assassination attempt on his life. A beloved editor of Zeta, Francisco Ortiz, was murdered in front of his children after publishing the photos of hit men for the Félix Cartel. Again working for Zeta, Sergio Haro had left at one time to start another publication called Siete Días with Benjamín Flores, who is described as principled, daring and audacious. However, the next frame is a headline with the title “Bullet-ridden journalist!” and the sudden loss of such ideals and promise merits an intake of breath.

Zeta stands as a prime example of what investigative publications face in Mexico, caught in the crosshairs of the drug cartels. More than 40 journalists have been murdered or gone missing since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa came to power and launched a government offensive against the drug cartels. However, the deaths of slain journalists are not thoroughly investigated. Of Flores’ murderer, who was arrested for another crime and subsequently set free, Haro laments that “They [the broken Mexican judicial system] might as well have asked for his forgiveness.”

Despite the demoralizing deaths of colleagues and moments where even the most steadfast want to give up, the most important message Reportero communicates is one of perpetual hope. This is represented by Haro, whose wife says that no matter how dangerous it gets she could never ask him to stop doing what he loves and whose editor says he constantly fights to cover socially significant stories. The documentary also shows Zeta training new journalists, reassuring the audience that there will always be someone willing to fight for justice.

Reportero is a solid documentary made with conviction. The voices in it are not sensationalist nor dramatic, but honest and tempered. The journalists featured in it are professionals who believe in their vocation. Documentaries that juggle between past and present can end up unbalanced, but Reportero manages the act perfectly.

Although Reportero will be particularly resonant with people in the journalism profession, it is also an inspirational portrayal about what it means to stand up for your beliefs, even in the face of death.


Awards and Festivals:

  • IDF Amsterdam 2012
  • Los Angeles FF 2012

Screening at the Documentary Edge Festival 2013 in Auckland and Wellington

heard | Serving up its Biggest Festival yet!

We’re just under two weeks away from the fourth annual Taste of Auckland Festival which takes place from Thursday 15th – Sunday 18th November at Victoria Park.

Taste of Auckland is renowned for bringing together the finest and most innovative New Zealand chefs and this year is no exception – with a confirmed list of high-caliber chefs, artisan producers, foodie master-classes and vibrant music all combining to make this year’s event the biggest and most exciting yet.

The lineup includes chef Des Harris of Auckland’s award-winning fine-dining restaurant Clooney, Al Brown and Kyle Street of Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar and dazzling chef combination of Anton Leyland and Juan Balsani representing Kermadec Fine.

Bringing a sense of the unexpected to the mix this year is Nick Honeyman of The Commons in Takapuna and Mexico head chef Javier Carmona with his light and fresh take on Mexican cuisine.
Toto Restaurant’s Sergio Maglione will bring the flavours of Italy to Taste alongside his uncle and mentor (staying in the family), renowned head chef Antonio Crisci of Waiheke Island’s Poderi Crisci.

Masterchef Simon Gault and Eugene Hamilton of Euro will bring their exciting food innovation, and finally head chef of Fish, Shane Yardley, will bring organic, sustainable produce to the Taste of Auckland menu mix.

As always, a festival highlight is the Fisher and Paykel Chef’s Kitchen, hosted in 2012 by the vibrant Nadia Lim. Featuring a must-see line up of culinary masters, taking visitors step by step through how they can create the finest, awe-inspiring dishes in the comfort of their own kitchen.

As well as the enviable line-up of chefs, Taste of Auckland brings together some of the best in their field with a selection of Masterclasses for fun and education.

For whiskey lovers, The Whiskey Shop will present its renowned master class while true coffee connoisseurs can attend the Gravity Coffee Masterclass hosted by Aymon McQuade and Stu Hargie.  And for those wanting to learn the art of blending cocktails, top barman Frankie Walker, will be around to show you just how simple it can be.

General Admission tickets are available for $25 and Premium Tickets are $62.50, which include $40 Crowns (the festival currency).

For those wanting the ultimate Taste of Auckland experience, VIP Tickets are available for $95 and includes VIP entry, access to the VIP lounge, $30 crowns and a glass of No. 1 Family Estate Methode Traditionelle on arrival and a fresh Nespresso.

More details on purchasing crowns as well as ticketing information can be found on the festival website: www.tasteofauckland.co.nz

Taste of Auckland is proudly supported by Singapore Airlines, Metro and Taste magazines, Fisher & Paykel, Prime and BMW.