No Velveeta in this Mexican Cuisine

Mexican cuisine has a proud and rich heritage, though you might not know it from eating Tex-Mex. We've been tricked into believing that the tacos, beef enchiladas, and waxy, lard-saturated rice and beans are all we can hope for from our friends to the south.

Wednesday, however, locals were treated to visions of new cuisines and met the students who will carry this torch into the next decade and beyond. Caravans of young prodigies from the Universidad del Valle de Mexico culinary school in San Luis Potosi traveled as long as 60 hours to receive top honors from the Mexican government for their achievement in the culinary arts in Mexico.

One of the visionaries behind the Savor Mexico event, held in the outdoor veranda of Milestone Culinary Arts Center, located at McKinney Avenue and Knox Street in Dallas, is local restaurateur Jorge Levy, who traveled to Mexico to be part of the judges panel for the large group of graduating seniors from the San Luis Potosi school.

"I wanted to find new dishes and talent from different regions in Mexico. These are talented young people that will promote finer Mexican cuisine," explained Levy, owner of Desperados Mexican restaurant in Dallas.

Levy spent several days in San Luis Potosi in preparation to judge the students. Winners of the Mexican competition were invited to Dallas to receive accolades and show off their winning fare.

In his judging, Levy found each dish unique and warming, reminiscent of home cooking of the region, but with added flair and possibilities. A visionary in his own right, Levy plans to continue his march across Mexico in search of other opportunities and delicacies.

Back in Dallas, as revelers strolled the Savor Mexico event, wine glasses were filled to the brim with margaritas and Mexican wine. Guests were able to soak in a taste of what Mexico has to offer without having to dust off the passport. Blazing sounds from the mariachis, beautiful eye candy from indigenous dressed senoritas and plates full of delicious temptations filled the night as the students prepared the very dishes that Levy judged in Mexico.

The crowd was fascinated with the textile displays and other offerings from business in Mexico. The crowd was most intrigued with the chainsaw wielding ice sculpture artist as he intensely examined his art on paper only to interpret the drawing into ice one slice of the saw at a time.

The evening came with a small price tag in the form of a $45 donation that benefited the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association's College Scholarship Fund, with part of the proceeds to be added to a scholarship fund within DISD.

If you feel left out, do not despair. This is the first of what will become an annual event, and Desperado's will be featuring many of the winning dishes on their special's menu.

See more from Sara Kerens slideshow on Savor Mexico: here.

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