09/20/2012 09:47 am ET

Richard Sandoval, Mexican Chef, Gives Tips On Pairing Tequila With Your Favorite Dish (RECIPES)

Fresh ingredients and bold Latin flavors infuse the menus at Mexican Chef Richard Sandoval’s 30 restaurants across the country and the globe.

Born in Mexico City, Sandoval grew up cooking traditional Mexican feasts alongside his grandmother, inheriting from her a love of fresh ingredients and from his restaurateur father the know-how around the food business.


Recently, the Mexican chef celebrated the 15th anniversary of his Manhattan restaurant, Maya New York. With a menu fusing traditional and modern tastes in Mexican cuisine and a new tequileria boasting more than 200 agave-based spirits,--its predecessor being Sandoval’s 19,000 square foot La Biblioteca de Tequila ((The Tequila Library) -- the Chef has become an authority on complementing south of the border flavors with the spirit.

“Diners are just learning to appreciate tequila’s subtle nuances, and distillers are constantly developing new techniques to bring out the agave’s more delicate flavors,” Sandoval told The Huffington Post. “Tequila can be paired with Mexican cuisine just as well as wine with other foods.”

And while National Tequila Day won’t be back around anytime soon, there’s no reason preparation can’t start right away. Check out below some of the Chef’s tips on how tequila can complement a dish and celebrate a shot of tequila the Sandoval way.

“I also have a rally which has become a little bit of a cheer for when I drink tequila -- ¡Venga, venga! -- which means ‘Let’s go, let’s go!’,” Sandoval added. “I don’t usually get up at a table and shout this during a meal, but most certainly after.”

¡Venga, venga!

Mexican Recipes from Chef Richard Sandoval