By Marjaleen Ramos
Coyote Cocina, located at the newly opened Pop Up Mall on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, virtually brings diners to Mexico through the fine art and taste of Texan and Mexican cuisine.
At a private tasting session, Chef John Gaffud presents a menu comprising of Tex-Mex inspired food made from local ingredients.
Chef Gaffud’s special preview showcases Coyote’s rice plates such as the Chicken Chipotle, Beef Barbacoa, Carnitas Plate, Wings Plate, and Pork Belly. For appetizers, the chef presented Flautas, Coyote Wings, Quesadillas, and Pork Belly.
Coyote’s nachos is served with house fried chips, topped with shredded cheese, Mexican black beans, pico de gallo, and guacamole drizzled with garlic crema.
Chicken Chipotle is served with Spanish rice and beans paired with pico de gallo and guacamole along with broiled and shredded chicken, topped with chipotle spices drizzled with garlic crema.
Flautas, one of Coyote’s best selling appetizers, is a braised pork wrapped in crispy corn tortilla served with house-made salsa.
Also served with Spanish rice and beans paired with pico de gallo, beef Barbacoa is a beef braised in garlic and herbs, topped with chopped onions and cilantro.
After spending more than a decade in the United States to practice his craft, Gaffud is no stranger to running a food business.
“My idea was more of like a challenge for me. The first time that I visited the Philippines, after 19 years of being gone, me and my friends went around and checked Tex-Mex places around here. They’re good, but they’re so expensive,” Gaffud tells the Manila Bulletin.
“I took it upon myself like, you know what, I love Tex-Mex cuisine, I’m gonna open up a Tex-Mex place with a good price point, using pretty much all local ingredients,” he says. “Everything’s from scratch. Everything’s local.”
A “coyote” in Mexican street term is a person bringing immigrants to Mexico to the United States. “It’s like us transferring flavors from one country to the next,” Gaffud says.
“I had an employee who I didn’t know was a coyote back in the day when I was in Seattle. He was the first person to introduce me to Mexican cooking. It’s kinda like I owe him a lot of my knowledge when it comes to Tex-Mex cuisine,” the chef shares.
On future plans, Gaffud says he is eyeing Makati as his next possible location. “I’m still taking one step at a time. I want to make sure the pioneer, the location is one hundred percent ready, my staff is well trained, I’ve captured a good market, and flavor-wise, price points, and maybe then on we’ll open. Makati has always been something that I look forward to,” he says.
Banner photo courtesy of Coyote Cocina. Visit their Facebook Page for more information.
The original article was first published in Manila Bulletin Lifestyle.