It was to become a good chef. MEXICO CITY — As bad hombre tales go, Eduardo García’s is classic. He said I should try for a job there. “Within six months of getting that dishwasher job, I was promoted to the salad station. My father didn’t want to have an operation or chemo, so they told him he would live two weeks. With the wages we paid, they could stay in Mexico and earn enough to have a good life. Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times. Garcia was born in Guanajuato and emigrated to Atlanta with hi I knew this. Hard physical work has always been my life. Then, he met Chef Enrique Olvera in Vancouver and when Olvera found out that Garcia had worked at one of his favorite spots, he offered him a job at Pujol and the rest is, as they say, history. AFAR participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you purchase an item featured on our site. Over all, the cuisine is French-Mexican. “I stopped that work when I turned 14. “The Puerto Rican guy went on to work as a butcher in Brasserie Le Coze, a restaurant Eric Ripert [the chef and an owner of Le Bernardin] was opening. So then I started to experiment. Some of the standouts are the mussels with coconut and saffron, the duck with mashed potato and liver, and the red snapper with lentils and, of course, the risottos. I worked in those days with illegal documents. Calle Tonalá 133, Roma Norte, Roma Nte., 06700 Cuauhtemoc, CDMX, Mexico, How a Coronavirus Vaccine Will Affect Your Future Travel Plans, AFAR’s Gift Guide for Shopping Small Businesses, The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday and Cyber Monday Travel Deals in 2020, How to Earn Travel Rewards While Holiday Shopping. Then, he met Chef Enrique Olvera in Vancouver and when Olvera found out that Garcia had worked at one of his favorite spots, he offered him a job at Pujol and the rest is, as they say, history. “I don’t hide from any of this, because I want people around me to know who I am. My entire family still lives there and I love the country — it gave me everything I have — but I’m banned from going there now. It was a big risk, but I had to take a chance to try to see him in the United States before he died. “Pretty soon I was promoted again to chef de partie. Over the three and a half years he spent working with Olvera, Eduardo realized that Mexico was in dire need of sustainable and environmentally conscious restaurants. Run by a veteran of New York City’s Le Bernardin, Máximo Bistrot attracts a crowd of dedicated foodies, most of whom are not clued in to the new upstairs bar. and Havre 77. Garcia was born in Guanajuato and emigrated to Atlanta with his family as a child where the only connection to Mexico he had left was his mom’s cooking. Garcia was born in Guanajuato and emigrated to Atlanta with his family as a child where the only connection to Mexico he had left was his mom’s cooking. I even loved working in the fields, though my father died of gastrointestinal cancer that most likely came from being around so many pesticides. For every bucket you turn in, you get a chip to redeem for cash. We’d been going up and going down the country and always through Atlanta until one year, in 1991, we stopped to visit an aunt there and my father found a job at a country club cutting grass. My cooks in the kitchen here at Máximo Bistrot are a little afraid of me, I think. But these are mistakes any human being can make. So, he opened Maximo and to this day – years after he opened – it’s still nearly impossible to get a table without a reservation. The best part is that menu changes daily, sometimes between lunch and dinner, so you’ll always find a new palate partner to dance with. We got away, but I told myself I needed to face the consequences, so I turned myself in. “A guy above me at the Georgia Grille was from Puerto Rico. Máximo Bistrot Mexico City, D.F. My entire education took place in kitchens. Enjoy highbrow snacks (jamón ibérico) and herb-driven cocktails (order any with bourbon), and kick your feet up on leather seats. Later, to make a living, he started washing dishes at a restaurant where he learned to cook and although he never formally studied culinary arts, he ended up cooking at Le Bernadin, one of the best restaurants in New York City which specializes in Eurocentric classical cuisine. Then, at the end of 2000, I came to Mexico, deported for the first time. I began to sell drugs for the dishwashers. AS, Posted: I had a Social Security number, but it was a fake because I was actually too young to work legally. Even so, for me it was never about, ‘I’m going to become a chef.’ It was none of that. “One day in 2007, immigration went to the restaurant and talked to the manager, who came to me crying and said, ‘They’re here for you.’ I said, ‘Don’t worry, I knew this day was going to come.’ I was arrested again and spent four months in federal prison in South Georgia. The dream by then was not to become a well-known chef. I was deported again and I really didn’t know what was next for me. On a recent springlike morning before Máximo Bistrot opened for lunch, Mr. García, known as Lalo, sat with a reporter to talk about his complicated journey from there to here: “We started Máximo Bistrot in 2011 with four employees. ratings, photos, prices, expert advice, traveler reviews and tips, and more information from Condé Nast Traveler. After that, the sun is too hot and you don’t mess with the plants. My life started to go sideways. Over all, the cuisine is French-Mexican. We became literally accustomed to American ways. In fact, he lived another six years and every one of those years that I stayed I felt I didn’t belong in the States. Even the table bread is perfect; crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and it’s made daily and served with a smattering of butters, from bean and sheep’s cheese, eggplant ash and goat cheese or truffle oil. It was my version of a video game. About; Search; Choose a Destination. Now that is changing. Máximo Bistrot Chef Eduardo García’s flagship restaurant continues to excel as one of the city’s (not so) hidden gems. I could just make money on the side. They promoted me pretty quickly to garde-manger and suddenly I was making, like, 200 to 300 salads or terrines or duck confit, and it was like, ‘Wow, this is stuff I didn’t even know existed.’.