In the heart of downtown New Westminster, on Columbia Street, you'll find the colourful and vibrant spirit of Mexico at El Santo. The menu here reveals the best of contemporary Mexican cuisine, with a focus on sustainability from Chef Shane King.
Together, owner Alejandro Diaz and Chef Shane King have created an innovative menu that tastefully pairs local ingredients with traditional (though perhaps lesser known) Mexican favourites to create fresh dishes reminiscent of Alejandro's homeland.
Canadian-born Chef Shane is well suited to El Santo's fare and flavours with his focus on Mexican cuisine – with modern interpretations. Indeed, El Santo's dishes have been inspired by Shane's extensive travels throughout Mexico and Central America, along with his 20+ years experience working in fine restaurants, distinguished catering outfits, and exclusive resorts and hotels.
Here's our quick Q&A with Chef Shane:
Corn! Because when the corn crops are in full swing, it means that summer is here and everyone starts eating more locally-sourced ingredients. Also, it's such a versatile ingredient.
I began cooking at an early age thanks to my parents. Both of them are incredible cooks, and I was constantly encouraged to try new things.
I really believe that you can taste the difference when an ingredient is local. I also believe in supporting the farms close to home for economic reasons.
Being a chef is a never-ending learning process, and it's also always evolving.
The window for harvest of most ingredients is short, so I appreciate the timely aspect of utilizing the freshest ingredients in a timely manner.
Having people taste the complexity of flavours and the balance of all the ingredients.
I would have to say that it would be fresh Dungeness crab.
I was a dishwasher at Kelly O' Bryans and eventually moved up to line cook. We were a very busy establishment in those days, and the dinner rushes became something I really looked forward to.