A Night in Mexico with Events by Alexandra
Updated: Nov 21, 2019
Events by Alexandra is among the most sought-after and praised culinary experiences on the island of New Providence. Guests from across the globe order tickets long in advance to enter her world of inviting and delectable fare. The scents of which tease the nostrils and flavors dance on the palettes.
Feeling the warmth of May’s last summer evening on my shoulders, I found myself stepping into Alexandra’s Mexican-themed dinner at the Hillside House owned by Bahamian artist Antonius Roberts. The dark-hued metal gate welcomed me to a colorful world that showcased symbolic pieces of the Mexican culture including piñatas, sombreros (a traditional hat worn during celebrations and by the mariachi band which also connects to the sombrero dance or jarabe tapatio) and maracas (part of their musical expression). As I viewed these iconic pieces, I appreciated Alexandra’s eye for detail, cultural expression and eagerly anticipated seeing her embody these themes in her food.
Mexican music played as guests were greeted warmly and invited to sip and chat before sitting in island chic bamboo chairs surrounding the bright, festive tables. To complement the heat, an array of beverages cooled you down, with Rum Punch, Margarita, Coconut Water, Tamarind juice, Passion fruit and Whiskey Sour (whiskey blended with sweet & sour mix). The signature beverages of the evening were the Red Wine Sangria and the Mexican Mule (a blend of tequila, ginger, goat pepper, and a light rum). Guests crowded at the bar and were entertained by the bartender who was well versed in the drink selection and also with his preparation of the same – creating fruity and tangy margaritas, while also providing tasty non-alcoholic blends. The display of fresh passion fruit and lime at the bar further highlighted their focus on fresh, quality ingredients.
As guests mixed and mingled, several hors d'oeuvres were served with selections of beef empanadas topped with walnut cream, lamb tortillas with a tangy green pesto sauce and three-cheese quesadillas with a spicy tomato sauce. There was also an open food table of tri-colored tortilla chips, fresh guacamole, a cucumber tomato salad and a pineapple salsa. This was a light, textured appetizer for vegans or vegetarians, who were still able to enjoy and partake in the evening’s cuisine. Each small bite had its individual taste and provided an introduction of the entrees that were soon to come. Shortly after, guests were officially welcomed and invited to enjoy the food stations as they opened one by one.
The seven food stations spanned the borders of the patio. Each unique to the food regions of Mexico, showcasing traditional Aztec and Mayan fare, including meats found in Mexican cuisine such as fish, beef, chicken, pork; tropical fruits like pineapple and produce like tomatoes, chilies, beans and avocado; and spices (cinnamon, thyme, cacao powder, Mexican oregano, basil, mint and sage). This diet is also maize-rich (corn), which Alexandra expressed through empanadas, tortillas and puffed pastries hot from the oven!
At the first station, I compiled three (3) puffed corn tortillas: one with fillings of shredded beef topped with pickled red onions and a spicy sauce, the second with a thick cheesy mushroom sauce topped with a spicy red bell pepper sauce and a fresh jalapeno, and thirdly a green bell pepper sauce. The beef’s savory taste and tender texture brought back memories of a pot roast that had simmered for hours in the oven with fresh herbs slowly being embedded into every morsel of the meat, which was cooked to perfection.
The following stations were featured throughout the night:
● A hearty stuffing of roasted pork, bread, apples, corn, raisins, whole green olives, string beans and parsley.
● A whole roasted red snapper with seafood stuffing that was flaky to the touch of my fork and moist in my mouth. It was seasoned enough to be light and satisfying. This dish represented northern, coastal Mexico.
● Grouper fish fillets adorned with red chili peppers and garlic, fish empanadas, arroz con verde (rice with spinach), a peanut and chipotle chili sauce and a green spicy sauce. This was the station for the fish lovers and those who liked spicy foods. The peanut chili sauce had a high peanut flavor, which I appreciated.
● Cracked conch topped with flaked crawfish and served with meat-stuffed chili peppers that were topped with a walnut sauce (this included two of the Bahamas’ top seafood pleasures – conch and crawfish).
● Flambre Potosino (Cold meat served with cabbage and onions) Pork Rib Carnitas (braised, fried and shredded pork ribs), Barbacoa (marinated, slow-roasted goat), also served with black beans.
Ending the night after an array of savory, spicy and herb dishes was a dessert that featured one of Mexico’s most prized possessions: chocolate. Derived from the Aztec/Mayan word for chocolatl, and once considered currency in Mexico because of its value, chocolate was often blended with spices and peppers to accentuate its flavor. Truthfully, you simply you can’t have Mexican cooking without chocolate!
This dessert dish was a classic flan with crumbled Mexican wedding cookies, and two sauces - a rich Nutella Dulce Du Leche and also a Chocolate Chili Cinnamon Sauce which you were able to drizzle over any or all of your dessert pieces. Garnishes of fresh fruit toppings such as golden raisins, pomegranates, accompanied servings of ice cream whose flavors were unique to each plate (vanilla, rum raisin, etc.).
All of Alexandra’s dishes included local produce provided by Field to Fork, allowing guests to sample Bahamian grown and hand-selected vegetables from the garden to their plates. Bahamian accents of crawfish, grouper, and conch were also highlighted at various stations, showing the dual cultural infusions. I applaud her for using Spanish titles for some of the dishes, incorporating other staples such as corn, which is found largely in Mexican cooking.
This was as ideal event to reconnect with friends (old and new), colleagues and classmates as the air was full of laughter, conversation and fun moments. Leaving after the festivities, I felt fully absorbed and mesmerized by the Mexican culture through song, food, and language; having tasted the richness of the Mexican culture in multiple forms and enjoying every bite.