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Hugo Ortega is executive chef/co-owner of four of Houston’s top restaurants – Backstreet Cafe, Hugo’s, Caracol and Xochi, and winner of Best Chef: Southwest at the prestigious 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards. (He was a finalist for the award for six consecutive years, 2012- 2017.) Ortega has been recognized locally, nationally and globally for his inspirational story and his passion for sharing traditional Mexican cooking and culture.

Huaraches con Nopales y Frijoles de Olla

Sandal-Shaped Masa Cakes with Diced Cactus Paddles and Beans


“Huaraches”—which translates to “sandals”—are oblong masa cakes that serve as a savory platform for beans and cactus in this dish from Hugo Ortega’s childhood

enchiladas de pollo y queso (chicken-and-cheese enchiladas)

Enchiladas de Pollo y Queso (Chicken-and-Cheese Enchiladas)


Semi-soft Chihuahua cheese is also known as “menonita” in Mexico, as it was first produced in its namesake state by members of the Mennonite community