The collaboration that we’ll all soon be celebrating actually began four years ago at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Latin American Studies annual Latin American & Caribbean Festival, where Jean Pierre and I first met Jesus and Jose Luis of La Palapa when they made their debut. Coincidentally, it was where we also had made ours. He gave them and their work a very rarely given seal of approval, and just a few months later, he was gone, but the legacy that he and my late mother and father in law left to us has enabled the foundation for all that has ensued since. For four years we have encouraged and supported one another, through sorrows, hopes and joys, trading our skills and talents in many ways. I have never for even a moment doubted their dedication and abilities. I’ve observed their devotion to their families and to their employees and their calm in the midst of clamor, so when the opportunity came at last to co~create a larger space where people could gather to relax and enjoy all that we offer as emissaries of Mexican food, folk art and culture, the leap of faith was made to re-envision the space that used to be occupied by Ibiza. With the owners of Mallorca as landlords and neighbors, the guys already knew they were in excellent company. But this Valentine of a sort that we are preparing belongs equally to the artists I represent, to the customers that we share, and to the dedicated crews behind the scenes every step of the way, some of whom worked for decades alongside Jean Pierre making magic happen in film and theatre. Walls that are 30 feet high do present unique challenges! But the very 1st item is up, and most fittingly it’s a tree of life weaving from Teotitlan del Valle in Oaxaca. In the branches of the community tree of life where we all have often perched together, so often many of us spoke of a place such as this, where more magic can happen, where #foodisart and #artisfood.
The first special event there has already been booked (a wedding!), the new drinks menu is being lovingly curated, and offerings of Mexican mezcal, tequila, wine and beer will also feature some cherished favorites from beloved local breweries. A diverse selection of workshops and classes will be held and by god, there will be mariachis and there will be boss cross cultural beats. Thanks to so many, so much that is a celebration of Life will be. Please stay tuned for further details coming soon! I’ve just finished the new revised menu cover, and here it is: