Born in Mexico City and raised in Yucatán, Chef Tito has led a more-than 30-year culinary career that's taken him through every position, from bartender to executive chef to tableside magician. He has cooked for celebrities as varied as Hilary Clinton, Sean Connery, and Norway’s King Olaf. With his bold mustache and even bolder personality, some of his dinner guests, such as The Pitch's Charles Feruzza, have claimed he could be a movie star. At his flagship restaurant Latin Bistro, he very nearly is.
In Latin Bistro's dining room, patrons are serenaded by Latin music as well as a symphony of shouts, bellows, and laughter. At the center of the room stands Chef Tito's open exhibition kitchen, where he and his chefs dash to and fro in a complicated dance, fashioning vibrant meals that draw from the regional recipes of Mexico, the Mayans, and more than 60 Latin countries in South America and Europe. With each dish, Tito balances three properties—texture, color, and flavor—and his most prized recipes come with extra flourish. He grills and braises pescado a la Veracruzana in white-wine rum sauce and Spanish spices, and tosses in green olives, onions, capers, and raisins. He conjures Mayan cochinita pibil after slow-roasting banana-leaf-wrapped pork in a pit with spices for up to eight hours. His crew drapes chile rellenos en nogada—ground beef-stuffed poblano peppers—in dried fruits, pine nuts, and creamy pecan sauce.
A smaller outpost of this Latin performance kitchen, Latin Bistro Express whips up batches of Mexican, Spanish, and Latin food for carryout orders. Its small but hearty menu features Mexican favorites such as chicken burritos, pork and beef tamales, and guacamole served alongside american chicken salad and waldorf wraps.