Building the Cantina

Building the Cantina: The Background

I left my job as a Breakfast Chef at Hot Milk Café at the end of February 2020. I wanted to gain new experience in other hospitality sectors. Mexican, pizza places, kombucha or artisan food produce were some of the new fields I had in mind.

The CoVid-19 crisis has put my goals in stand-by, as many others, but gave me time to think. I follow some entrepreneurial shit on Instagram; there, one of these smoke sellers was saying in a video that this crisis shouldn’t be taken as a time for contraction. The opposite! You should see this as a chance to expand yourself, learn new stuff, try new things… This guy went bankrupt short time after that video, but he was right that, although we are not facing the best of the moments, it is still possible to launch a business or, at least, to start building it; so when this situation finishes, and people will be allowed to populate their favourite places, I will be ready to rock! 

For me there is little difference between waiting for the virus to be gone and then finding a job, or to build the Cantina -not a little task with loads of things to learn!-. And here we are. Creating a Mexican inspired take-away from scratch and sharing the process with you. But why Mexican?

The inspiration/The idea

Being 22 I had the crazy idea of travelling Latin America from Mexico to Argentina. I didn’t go further to Mexico’s Southern border but I got hooked on the Aztec country: its culture, people and, obviously, it’s food. Since then, I have been learning and cooking Mexican food with more or less fortune. However, it was my work at Hot Milk that gave me the chance to definitely improve my knowledge and skills as a taco and tortilla maker. 

My alter ego, Jake Soulinake “El Santo Ponis”, in Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, May 2007

So when I started to think about what food to make as a way of living, Mexico came to my mind naturally. But I don’t want a taquería. I love tacos but I can’t see how I could make my taquería special. I am looking forward a place where to serve authentic food not ever seen in London yet. 

There’s an exciting trip ahead and I would like you to be part and witness of it”

Burritos and Tortas are my deal -that’s the foundation of Cantina Canalla-, with strong international influences to differentiate them. They are gorgeous and you can play with the fillings as you like. Expect Korean, Jamaican, Spanish, Mediterranean influences. Then, we have the Specials: very authentic Mexican dishes that are very hard to find in London or North London. And which specials will I offer? That’s something I will reveal soon, so stay tuned! There’s an exciting trip ahead and I would like you to be part and witness of it. Check this blog for new updates and follow us on Instagram to see how the food will look like. 

We are going to have some fun here!

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