Everyone has a favourite food. For us it’s Mexican – Eric grew up on the stuff over in Chicago, one of the largest Hispanic communities in America – and then Dan followed suit, becoming a Mexican food addict during his travels throughout the US and Mexico.
In 2005 we started working together in London at Skype and soon discovered our shared passion for Mexican. The only problem? Finding good Mexican food in London was like finding a needle in a haystack. The only solution? We quit our jobs and kicked-off a gastro adventure, looking for culinary inspiration. We went to Mexico City, Zihuatenejo, Ixtapa (and a few other places that we can’t spell), as well as Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco – home to three of the largest Mexican communities in the USA. Along the way we met everyone from street vendors to high-class restaurant chefs, family cooks to fellow foodies.
In 2007 we combined our own savings with some investments from friends, and a matching bank loan, and took the plunge. We opened our first restaurant in London on Upper Street in Islington. It wasn’t easy. There were the 4am trips to Smithfield Market several times per week to purchase our meats. There were the gruelling 16-hour days. There were the times we thought we got it right, but got it all wrong. But then again there were the thousands of smiling and satisfied faces of our guests. There were the television appearances… cooking with Tana Ramsay on Market Kitchen and our guest judging appearance on The Apprentice. And there were the myriad of vibrant personalities that have joined the Chilango team.