Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

MAR-APR 2017

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Page 92 of 147

Having known and worked with executive chef Rachel Hoover for more than a decade, George and Main felt completely comfortable giving her plenty of autonomy in putting together the menu for Festiva. "It's basically all of my favorite dishes," she said. "Some are traditional, some aren't. I wanted us to be able to grow in a modern direction while still remaining true to the classic recipes." Hoover fell in love with Mexican cuisine while attending the New England Culinary Institute, and later with her husband of 15 years, Victor Deleon, a fellow chef and native of Puebla, Mexico. Her mother-in-law's authentic home cooking informs many of the dishes that have found their way into Hoover's Festiva repertoire. e guacamole, unquestionably one of the prettiest preparations in town, incorporates lacy julienned jicama, pomegranate seeds and pepitas for texture, as well as fresh cilantro and paper-thin slices of serrano. Citrus mango salad is a visually arresting plate of sliced fruit, and the perfect antidote to kicky costillas, flavorful braised pork ribs with a sting of chili de arbol oil and chipotle crema. A rich, brothy soup-stew redolent of spice and chiles, the pozole showcases hominy and meaty bites of chicken; Mexican comfort food at its finest. 91

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