When it comes to making the perfect quesadilla that’s filled with authentic flavor, Celebrity Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, owners of the acclaimed Border grill, have cracked the code. The dynamic duo revealed their secret at Taste of the Nation in Los Angeles this June and as it turns out … it’s all about the cheese—well, three types of cheese actually: Cacique’s Panela, Cotija, and Manchego are blended together to create a heavenly balance of flavors and textures that’s creamy, tangy, and just salty enough to make the combination incredibly craveable. And … they have been using this winning Cacique Cheese blend for nearly 30 years!
So how did two chefs who were classically trained in French kitchens become experts on authentic Mexican cuisine and discover Cacique Cheese in the first place? Milliken and Feniger developed a passion for Latin food while cooking in various kitchens where they enjoyed staff meals prepared by their fellow cooks from Mexico. The rich and complex flavors of recipes from Oaxaca and the Yucatan ignited a flame within and in 1985, the “too hot tamales” set out on a road trip, venturing south of the border and deep into Mexico to experience the country’s most authentic cuisine.
They learned how to make the local food from locals themselves—market vendors, home cooks and street vendors became their teachers and rural family barbecues and taco stands along the beach their “classrooms” where they tasted recipes and were taught techniques. They also tried Mexican cheeses for the first time, such as cotija and panela. “My first real quesadilla memory is from that trip to Mexico,” explained Milliken. “A little lady in the market place was making homemade masa tortillas then sprinkling them with cotija cheese and we ate them warm, right off the griddle. They were amazing.”
After returning home, the chefs began their search for the most authentic Mexican cheeses to use in their quesadillas and other recipes at their newly opened Border Grill. Once they found Cacique, a family owned company in Los Angeles that was established in 1973 by a young couple who had immigrated to the United States, they never looked back. In Latin America the name “Cacique” means the chief of a tribe, the ultimate authority, or the very best. And for Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger who rely on fresh, high quality ingredients to make their exquisite, modern Mexican food, only the very best will do.
Cacique is the #1 brand of Hispanic Cheeses, Chorizos and Creams and you can explore all their authentic products at www.Caciqueusa.com.
Dying to try Border Grill’s quintessential quesadilla made with Cacique’s Panela, Cotija, and Manchego cheese? Visit www.bordergrill.com for restaurant locations!