Dudley Nieto grew up in Puebla, Mexico. His father – who grew up in Spain – was a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen, which provided Nieto a “strong sense of pride, knowing men could be great cooks.” At 21 years old, Nieto intended to study medicine but decided to pursue culinary school instead. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, Nieto brought his Mexican palate and classic French technique to kitchens in the Chicago area. He’s opened countless restaurants, from Adobo Grill and Chapuline in Chicago to Bar Taco, Rosa Mexicano-Lincoln Center and Dos Caminos Park Avenue in New York City, finally returning home to the Midwest last year where under his guidance, new eatery Mezcalina has recently earned the distinction of being named one of 23 “Authentic Mexican Restaurants” by the Mexican government.
“As you know, Mexican cuisine has been designated World Heritage by UNESCO and it hasn’t become popular by accident. It’s all about giving diners great food with excellent flavors. It’s a cuisine that’s quickly becoming more mainstream, but we can continue to make it grow by staying true to our roots. For the foodies that have had street tacos in Mexico, I want to deliver a taco that’s even better. For first-time diners, I want to provide an experience they’ll never forget. That’s my challenge: to put authentic yet contemporary food at the table.”