Julieta Bocos of Casa Frida is South Florida's Mexican Ambassador of Food | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Julieta Bocos of Casa Frida is South Florida's Mexican Ambassador of Food

At Casa Frida Number 18 on our Tastemakers list, Julieta Bocos wants you to taste Mexico. Not the Mexico fast food chains try to sell, and not the Tex-Mex most Americans mistake as Mexican food.

Slow-cooked moles - a Mexican sauce made with chocolate and chilis - and fall-apart pork called cochinita pibil offers sustenance and insight the heart and soul of Mexican culture. It dates back thousands of years, tying together western explorers and the native communities.

The coloring for Casa Frida's cochinita comes from the annato seed, which Mayans used to use to paint their faces.

"We didn't know what a burrito was until we moved here," she said. After a visit to Casa Frida you'll never want one again.

The most influential person in my career has been... My husband. He's the most amazing man. He's smart, he's a very hard worker and everything that I know I learned from him.

When I'm alone and in need of comfort, (an no one is there to watch or judge) the one food or drink I turn to is... The wine absolutely. My favorite is pinot noir.

What does Broward/Palm Beach need more of? I would like to see more events for kids, more cultural events for people and more parks.

You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever - what is it? I hate soda. Any type of soda, Coke, Sprite it doesn't matter. We drink fresh fruit waters with pineapples, orange, mangos, hibiscus, natural things. Sodas are killing people and fast food is killing people.

You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name and what do you serve? We already have a restaurant. I'd call it the name it has right now and I'd serve what I already serve.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Having another Casa Frida with the same food in a better location. My dream is have another location on the beach.

Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting? I would invite people that don't believe in my concept. They don't want to try the real Mexican cuisine, the real flavors of Mexico. There are people who come to the restaurant and ask for nachos and chimichangas and because I don't have that, they think we're not authentic. I would invite Frida Kahlo [and] I would invite Diego Rivera, her husband. I would invite my father, right before we opened the restaurant he passed away, my mother and the president of Mexico, so he can see how we want to project our culture and how proud we are of it.

New Times' Best Of Broward-Palm Beach 2013 issue arrives June 13. To celebrate, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up 30 of our favorite tastemakers -- restaurateurs, chefs, bartenders, and other foodies who make the South Florida food scene what it is. We'll start with number 30 and lead up to South Florida's number one. All previous 2013 Tastemakers are listed below.

30. Robyn Almodovar of Palate Party Food Truck

29. Chris and Jordan Bellus of Laser Wolf

28. Fulvio Sardelli of Sardelli's Italian Steakhouse

27. Brett Chiavari of BC Tacos

26. Mike Halker of Due South Brewing

25. Chrissy Benoit of the Little House Boynton Beach

24. Dean Max of DJM Restaurants

23. Lauren Bowen of Tap 42

22. Vaughan Lazar of Kapow!

21. Eric Guerro, Mark Fee, and Jeff Evans of Angry Union Brewing

20. Ben Lubin of The Blind Monk

19. Susan Kim of Gabose

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Zachary Fagenson is the restaurant critic for Miami New Times, and proud to report a cholesterol level of 172.
Contact: Zachary Fagenson

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