Tue | Sep 25, 2018

Chilitos blending the cultures at Cinco de Mayo

Published:Monday | April 30, 2018 | 7:16 PMStephanie Lyew

For the 11 years that it has been in operation, every year Chilitos celebrates Cinco de Mayo, but this year will be bigger than ever.

 Cinco de Mayo, which is Spanish for ‘Fifth of May’, is an annual celebration observed in Mexico to commemorate the Mexican army's victory over the French Empire in 1862. But the Kingston-based restaurant has been using the day to expose customers to the Mexican cultures.

Chief Commercial Officer of Chilitos Andrew Brown, told The Gleaner that in modern times, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a life of its own as a celebration of Mexican culture and its influence in music, food, and art all over the world.

“Our patrons who are predominantly Jamaicans, are looking for an experience outside of the norm,  so we have raised our efforts in providing a fusion of Mexican and Jamaican culture through events like Cinco de Mayo that celebrates a holiday,” Brown explains.

Similarly, he says Chilitos has received overwhelming support from the Mexican community in Jamaica. In their efforts to fuse local culture with that of Mexico or Spanish-speaking countries, they are keep informed with the help of the Mexican Embassy and the Mexican diaspora.

“As a Jamaican-Mexican restaurant, the blend of both cultures is a priority for us. Not only can guests expect to hear authentic Mexican music, but they can enjoy the local fair of reggae, dancehall and soca throughout the night,” he said.

He continued, “Our chefs have prepared the ultimate fusion of food specials; fried chicken tacos topped with Cinco de Mayo — naise slaw with the existing menu that has jerked chicken tacos as well as plantain and ackee tacos. For drinks, the Beer-garita is our signature margarita, refreshingly paired with an ice cold Heineken, from our main event sponsor.”

Sombreros will be complimentary, and to add to the ambience, activities like the piñata ceremony and music provided by Acmatic, Fatalic Sound, Circa 11 and ZJ Sparks is expected to have patrons enjoying the night — dancing and singing.

 For the first time the event will feature an extended dining area and dedicated bar on the outside. Shuttle service will be provided all night from the parking lot which will be at Campion College.