The Inspiration & Philosophy
of Chef Frederick Muller
At El Meze Restaurant, I prepare fresh, regionally inspired rustic comfort food that is uniquely American. I call it, “La Comida de las Sierras,” the food of the mountains, fresh trout, jamon, corn and chiles, wild mushrooms from our mountain forests, local organic produce from our small farms. This is how I like to eat and how I like to cook, clean flavors, rustic and simple.
I have been involved with regional American cooking for over the last twenty five years. To understand regional American cooking you have to understand the history of the people. Where did they come from? Where did corn and chiles come from? Why are garbanzos cooked in the homes of Northern New Mexican families so far from the Middle East? Northern New Mexico is often referred to as a tri cultural area, Spanish, Native American and Anglo. But I propose to you not Anglo but Moorish or Arabic influence is much more prevelant. Just look at the architecture. The Moorish occupation of Spain for almost eight hundred years has lent the Spanish a sense of style in architecture, language and cuisine that followed them into the New World.
Words like adobe, acequia, and horno are Arabic in origin. Northern New Mexico being not only isolated from mother Spain, but Mexico as well retained many cultural traditions from old Moorish Spain. My hope for El Meze,(meaning the table or tapas style) is to explore these symbiotic cultures imbedded in Northern New Mexico in a uniquely American style-enjoy!