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Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman Discusses Why Chef Pop-Ups Are More Than a Good Meal

The executive chef of Jose kicked off a guest pop-up series in September with chef Beatriz Martines (right).
The executive chef of Jose kicked off a guest pop-up series in September with chef Beatriz Martines (right).
Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman
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The sight of talented people collaborating is often a nice thing, but when chefs do it, it’s usually enjoyable for those of us who get to eat their creations.

At José, chef Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman is bringing in chefs for a little bit more than just a few good plates of food.

“People often tell me what I’m doing is different and there’s nothing else like it. But I disagree. People are making this food all over the country,” Quiñones-Pittman says. “I thought, if I can bring these chefs, taqueros, cevicheros to Dallas, maybe people can see that I’m not alone in the quest to elevate street food and traditional Mexican food.”

The executive chef got the idea when she was in Guadalajara, meeting the owners of La Panga.

“They wanted to come out to do a pop-up. These pop-ups are popular in Mexico. I thought, ‘Why not? It would be fun to do a collab with them.’ And to be honest, I fell in love with their food,” she says. “I had to have it again and in Dallas and share it with everyone.”

So she launched the series in September with a sold-out dinner. She partnered with chef Beatriz Martines for the night that not just sold out, but when they offered 10 last-minute seats, those sold out within 10 minutes.

The next one will be Oct. 22 with chefs Alex Garcia and Elvia Huerta of Evil Cooks; cost is $60 per ticket.

As the Facebook event puts it, it’s not a regular set menu: “Will you get roasted potatoes and chorizo or barbacoa? Unpredictably is the ingenuity behind this pop up.… The Evil Cooks will be sharing a variety tacos for you to try and chef AQ her tacos de tacha. Present your taco card to the chef and let them know which taco your mouth is watering for. You will only get one taste of each taco and then you must move onto the next.”

“Who I choose usually depends on their availability. But also on what I can learn from them,” Quiñones-Pittman says. “It’s easy to follow a chef on social media and use their style. But for me, if I have an opportunity to meet them, get to know them and learn from them, why not? There are so many talented people out there making extraordinary good Mexican food. Not everyone can get to them, so I’m bringing them to you.”

There are dinners planned for November and December (names to be announced in the future, it seems) but Quiñones-Pittman says “the lineup is insane.”

José, 4931 W. Lovers Lane, Dallas. 214-891-5673.

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