From Taco to Tostada: Inspired By Mexico


One of the very reasons I’d chosen for us to come to Mexico. Our intention to visit Thailand not brought to fruition due to the Pandemic but Mexico popped up its sombrero and suddenly, easily even, we had a foodie holiday booked, knowing we wanted to have the taste and flavour of Mexico and incorporate it within our lives somehow.

It goes a bit like this you see.

We have a food business called Pad Cha & Chilli.

It started out as a little street food business, which I created to help us travel around this little land we call home, to find a new place to live. I figured that if we plied our trade at street food events, markets and festivals around England. Then eventually we would come across somewhere we would like to live. So far its been Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, which is a bit too far away from family within this country and not close enough to the sea for it to be a possibility, but it is an idyllic and community minded destination.

Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Harvard Business Review

The desire to share Pad Cha came about when I worked out in Thailand on Koh Chang. Every sunday I would stop by a little beach side restaurant and eat Chicken Pad Cha as my sunday lunch. It made me want to bring this deliciously, fragrant dish back to the people of the UK to enjoy when I returned, as I found it so moreish and yummy.

Carne Con Chilli always a firm family favourite. Smokey, delicious made with 95% beef, beef cheek or buffalo mince. Sometimes topped with coriander or pico di gallo. For weddings in game season, venison mince also on the menu. Finished with a squeeze of lime. I elevated the dish into something worth serving to others. It has been very well received.

I think my funniest moment to share was when a young woman at a wedding told us she was a vegan and only wanted a vegetable portion of Pad Cha – saw the chilli con carne and said ‘Oh, pop some of that on top too.’ It made Vin and Me wonder and giggle.

Exploring Mexico’s street food scene we had a few discoveries. The first being not all mexican street food is made equal and sometimes a place which doesn’t look as fantastic as its road side neighbours is the exact place you uncover the most delicious food. This is what happened to us when we stayed in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo.

Los Che – Itza.. an unassuming restaurant along Javier Rojo Gomes. Serving especial coffee and the most divine dishes.

Camarones al la Diabla simply the most accomplished dish I tasted on the menu.

Mexican food at its most delicious…

With the balance of flavours spot on – it left me feeling satisfied and at the same time, wanting more. This was the side of mexico which I’d wanted to see.

The service local, the people friendly, the food great. Inspirational in fact and exactly what I had been looking for without really knowing I was trying to find something.

And that’s what travel gives you…

When you’re feeling stuck, procrastinating even.

When you don’t know where to start, what you want or how to get what you know you desire.

Yet the one thing you definitely know is that you want things to change.

That’s when a change of environment can be helpful because it means a change of routine – which in turn means a change of lifestyle. It churns up what has become settled in the most uncomfortable of ways and delivers it to you on a plate in another. You simply have to be willing to come along for the ride – observe and act on what the insight gives you.

On returning back to the UK – I realised I had been waiting for a different mexican dish to combine with my thai menu and creating our bespoke tostada menu has been the way forward.

So I developed a Tostada Buffet Menu & a Tostada Canapé menu. It was the inspiration I needed, which gave me the next step I desired, to continue creating the change which I want to see in my life.

What insight has travel given you and what food have you enjoyed the most?

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