We’re making a beeline for BOCA – here’s why.
No, it’s not the Mexican equivalent of Halloween. And, yes, it’s surprisingly joyous. We’re talking Dia de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead), an annual celebration rooted in paying respects to deceased family members, bringing with it colours, costumes, parades, offerings and – you guessed it – food and drinks aplenty. Here in Dubai, BOCA is leading the festivities by hosting a special dinner with not one, but two World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Bars.
The DIFC eatery will host Chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo of Nicos Restaurant in Mexico City (No. 31 on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020 and winner of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Lifetime Achievement Award 2018), who will cook alongside its Head Chef Matthijs Stinnissen. Together, they will mark the day by preparing a six-course, 12-dish menu that reflects BOCA’s commitment and passion for sustainable processes, sourcing locally and blending both traditional and modern cooking styles.
Diners can look forward to ‘Chile de Bola’ (pumpkin seed butter and smoked chili powder on a corn tortilla), ‘Caramelised Tomato’ (marinated cherry tomatoes, ginger granité, soy and citrus vinaigrette), ‘Pesca en Escabeche Colorado’ (a ‘Colorado Veracruzano Style’ sea bass loin from the southern states of Campeche and Veracruz in Mexico), and ‘Wagyu Beef Tonnato’ (complete with line-caught bonito tuna mayo, pickled watermelon skin, crispy black quinoa and oil infused with UAE native desert plant Shih). Other highlights include ‘Tamal de Pato Ahumado en Adobo’, a steamed corn dough tamal stuffed with smoked duck confit in adobo wrapped in a banana leaf with dried chilli sauce alongside ‘Grilled Octopus’ with sunchoke purée and black radish as mains.
Chef Gerrardo and Chef Matthijs will be joined by Odd Strandbakken of Himkok in Oslo (No. 30 on the World’s 50 Best Bars, 2020 and the first bar in the world to win the World’s 50 Best Bars Sustainability Award in 2018). Supported by the bar team at BOCA, Odd will bring his flair for minimalist and clean ingredient-driven cocktail creations to the dinner. He will serve six cocktails matching the six courses with ingredients that showcase flavours that are truly Scandinavian.
This Day of the Dead dinner will only be served on 2 and 3 November, so it goes without saying that an advance booking is mandatory. Feliz Día de los Muertos!