“I needed corn to be the primary participant in each dish,” mentioned Matthew Diaz, the culinary director behind For All Issues Good—the restaurant he runs with chef Carlos Macias. Earlier than ballooning right into a restaurant with two places, a neighborhood staple in Mattress-Stuy and a brand new cafe in Williamsburg, For All Issues Good was initially a Molinera, a retailer devoted to high-quality masa tortillas. Diaz’s concentrate on the tortilla was the inspiration behind opening her enterprise. He notes that whereas tortillas are a basic part of Mexican delicacies, they’re usually dominated by the star elements—assume, as Diaz put it, “2-day braised beef.” Diaz considers the tortilla as important as protein and thus, by specializing in it, makes an attempt to raise it to its good culinary state.
Nixtamalization, the advanced course of that turns corn into masa, separates For All Issues Good from different Mexican eating places that use solely corn flour, primarily as a result of time-consuming nature and old-school method of constructing masa. due to the excessive price of. Within the case of For All Issues Good, your complete constructing’s electrical system needed to be reworked to assist the energetic calls for of the volcanic stone mill. However these steep prices are in the end price it – like an Italian restaurant making recent pasta, the distinction in style is clear. Tortilla is not only a medium however a necessary a part of the dish with delicate, nutty and candy notes.
Good Supply for All Issues Corn masienda And tamoa, two manufacturers that work with small household farms all through Mexico, promote the significance of heirloom corn varieties. As Diaz put it, these firms defend individuals who have “spent generations defending this biodiversity.” These firms play an necessary, counterbalancing position, particularly given the rising homogenization of corn attributable to industrialized farming practices and the continued reliance on GMOs. Via the sale of sorts such because the yellow tuxpeno or cacahuazintle, they virtually function the final bastion defending the complexity of corn and the pursuits of small farmers.
These completely different corn species have completely different taste profiles, as recommended by Diaz. Diaz, who has a winemaking historical past, sees similarities between Massa and Vine, particularly with regards to their reliance on hyper-exclusiveness. Whether or not it was the kind of corn or the precise weather conditions of sure areas, the keenness with which Diaz spoke concerning the advanced variations between kernels from Oaxaca versus Michoacan was astonishing.
Working with a number of corn species comes with its personal set of challenges. Diaz defined that relying on the kind of corn, he alters the already “delicate course of,” “altering the cooking temperature, cooking time, [and] What number of cows do you utilize? Within the kitchen, there’s a spirit of experimentation, this collaborative strategy of trial-and-error, the place everybody works on modifying recipes.
As a restaurant goer, these efforts repay. For All Issues Good shouldn’t be solely residence to Brooklyn’s finest tortillas, however its menu is surprisingly balanced and stuffed with refined dishes. The great Tinga and Aguacate Tacos should not a few be aware however concerning the interaction, how the creaminess interacts with the citrus. The menu is filled with playful dishes – normally marinated mushrooms in mezcal and telllas, exhibiting off the useful poblano pepper. All issues good creatively breaks from custom, by specializing in assist and infrequently neglected content material.
Discussing the creation of the menu, Diaz pressured, “It makes it a enjoyable problem to create full, advanced dishes with out including protein. It obtained to the purpose the place including protein virtually appeared like dishonest. You are like, ‘Ah, I can not discover a solution to end this dish. I feel I am going to put within the chorizo.'” Inside this quest for steadiness was a light-hearted however intense ambition.
But, regardless of his obvious mastery of Mexican delicacies, Matt Diaz stays unhappy. Diaz locations an emphasis on studying and rising. although he has participated in lots of corn seminarstuffed with workshops on historical past of corn And the nixtamalization method, Diaz claims, has many controversies that he has but to resolve and that there are numerous methods to enhance his basic mass. Amongst cooks, Diaz mentioned that “there’s nonetheless a number of speak about what methods you utilize, why you wish to use them, the place you lean on custom, the place you lean on a extra scientific rationalization of issues.” It is a dialog.” In the end, a lot of Diaz’s course of is iterative, slowly determining find out how to enhance her masa with out being agnostic about indigenous culinary and historic traditions.
Because of this, Diaz’s emphasis on studying implies that her culinary journey will quickly transfer past the perfection of masa with heirloom corn. His imaginative and prescient relies on understanding the congenital, regional complexities of beans, chiles and hibiscus. Diaz continues her path towards agricultural experience—and we will not wait to expertise what lies forward.