Chef Bruce Ricketts of La Chinesca: The tortilla press has always been my favorite tool in the kitchen
Tacos seem simple on paper, but the simplest dishes are often the ones that are hardest to get right. Chef Bruce Ricketts knows the secret to a great taco is not to overcomplicate it—all it takes is a freshly-pressed tortilla, fresh ingredients, and just the right drizzle of house-made salsa to take it to the next level.
It's this formula that made La Chinesca such a hit when they opened at BF Homes in Parañaque, and continued to be a crowd-favorite at The Grid. We talked to the chef about why he chose to open a second branch, his favorite taco toppings, and his love for the tortilla press.
The Grid Food Market (TGFM): Why did you decide to open a second La Chinesca at The Grid?
Chef Bruce Ricketts (BR): We first opened La Chinesca in BF Homes and our customers who didn’t live in the south were requesting for a second branch in a more central location. We thought that Rockwell would be perfect.
TGFM: What should first-time La Chinesca customers order first?
BR: We recommend our bestsellers, the Carnitas, Camaroncito and Quesabirria tacos, and our Tuna Tostada.
TGFM: If you could make the taco of your dreams (no limits, no budget), what would it be?
BR: A classic, simple taco with different off-cuts of pork like tripe and intestines, cooked in its own fat, topped with lots of onions and cilantro.
TGFM: What has been your favorite quarantine food discovery?
BR: Tracy Wei's tiramisu and pies from @piedayeveryday.
TGFM: What’s your current favorite kitchen tool?
BR: The tortilla press. It's always been my favorite tool in the kitchen because the way you handle and apply pressure to it when pressing tortillas is something you learn and get better with through time. I also feel like our cooks who have worked longer with the tortilla press have a real personal connection with it because they all have their own favorite press to use during service.
TGFM: What are your future plans for La Chinesca?
BR: We’re currently working on adding plant-based alternatives to our menu, as more and more of our customers are being more mindful of their health and environmental choices. We’re so excited to explore this area and challenge ourselves by creating plant-based tacos and tostadas without sacrificing the bold flavors La Chinesca is known for.