In a Fiesta State of Mind with Chef Roberto Santibañez

Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off on September 15, and this year we want to celebrate it right. We talked to Mexican Chef Roberto Santibañez of Fonda Restaurant about some of the ways he’ll be bringing the festivities to the kitchen.

For all of you who eagerly await the arrival of the seasonal Chiles en Nogada, Santibañez will be preparing the classic dish in his Park Slope and East Village restaurants during the first week in September. The eponymous dish which precedes independence day celebrations in Mexico fills poblano peppers with a picadillo stuffing and tops them with walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds — the Mexican flag on a plate! Santibañez prepares his picadillo by adding apples and peaches to shredded beef and creates the walnut sauce with nuts and goat cheese.

Santibañez also shared one of his latest recipes with us, which incorporates diced green grapes into guacamole to create a creamy, spicy, and tart play with textures. “The most important thing is to have a very well-seasoned, spicy guacamole base,” he said, to balance the sweetness of the grapes.

Start your celebrating with this simple recipe straight from Santibañez’s kitchen. And don’t forget the margaritas!

Chef Santibañez’s Guacamole with Grapes (for 4 – 6 people)

You need:

3 large Hass avocados, cubed

20 red grapes, halved

20 green grapes, halved

1 generous tablespoon of very finely chopped white onion

3 teaspoons of very finely chopped Serrano chiles; chop including seeds

1 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of lime juice


1. Start by making a paste with the chile, onions and salt. The spiciness can be regulated according to your taste by adding more or less chiles.

2. Toss in the cubed avocado into the paste, and leave chunky if you’d like.

3. Mix in the grapes and reserve some for the garnish.

Comments are closed.

Let's Connect