Nine on the Line: Seis Kitchen’s Jake & Erika Muñoz

December 16, 2016
By Gloria Knott
By Gloria Knott

Jake and Erika Muñoz opened Seis Kitchen in 2012 as a food truck. Expanding to a brick-and-mortar location at 100 S. Avenida del Convento in 2014, the Muñoz duo runs the full-service restaurant in addition to the food truck and a full catering menu.

Seis’s menu offers cuisine from six different regions throughout Mexico including northern Mexico, western Mexico, Oaxaca, Mexico City, Baja, and Yucatan.

Each of the menu items are prepared in-house and made to order with fresh, locally sourced ingredients such as handmade tortillas and fire-roasted salsas.

1) What was the first dish you had that changed your perspective on food?

Jake: We used to raise and butcher all of our own meat. As a child, for all large family events, we would butcher whole cows and slow-roast them in an underground pit to create birria. The entire family would gather to prepare this meal. It really teaches one care and appreciation for what you eat.

Erika: My mother grew up on a farm in Iowa so we ate a lot of hearty midwestern meals — mainly meat and potatoes. She also lived overseas for years, so she introduced us to different cuisines very early on. So for me, it was anything that was not Sunday roast.

2) What are you eating these days?

Erika: We are loving the pork from local Tucson ranch E & R Pork. Recently, we were able to score a whole E & R hog with the help of local butcher Ben Forbes. Tremendous difference in flavor, fat content — beautiful to work with.

3) What was the first dish you remember cooking?

Jake: Homemade corn tortillas with my great Nana. She would make her own nixtamal masa and hand press thick gorditas. We would put this on a griddle, slice it open, stuff them with cheese, and grill them until they were cooked to perfection —  crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside. My version of grilled cheese.

Erika: We were always cooking. For as long as I can remember, we were in the kitchen helping, sneaking tastes. It was probably pastry or baked goods.

4) What concept, ingredient or food trend does everyone seem to love, but you just can’t stomach?

Jake: Over processed, pre-made food. Use real food and prepare it!

Erika: Agreed! Hopefully this is a dying trend.

5) What chef, with us or passed on, would you most like to cook or eat dinner with?

Erika: Massimo Bottura, Julia Child, and Jaques Pepin. The passion, the care for the food, and love (and perseverance) for what they do and did is infectious. I grew up watching and reading Child and Pepin and wantedg to emulate (and eat) everything they did.

Jake: I love Erika’s choices. I would definitely invite myself to cook and eat with Erika and her choices.

6) What city, other than Tucson, is your favorite place to eat?

Jake: New Orleans! When you eat in New Orleans, you taste the soul of the people and the area.

Erika: San Fransisco, L.A., and Chicago for the vast variety of cuisines and culture, and New Orleans for the passion and ardor which is immediately evident.

7) Speaking in junk food terms, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Jake: This doesn’t really fall under the “junk food” category but I get an extreme amount of guilty pleasure from BK’s Sonoran Dogs!

Erika: Black licorice. And chips and salsa. Together.

8) Top three Tucson restaurants?

Erika: We would never limit it to just three. We’d need a top 15 list! Tucson has a plethora of amazing local restaurants with phenomenal chefs and available ingredients. The recent designation by UNESCO marks Tucson as the first world city of gastronomy in the United States. This says so much as to what these local chefs and restauranteurs are doing. Pretty amazing stuff happening in this city.

9) With a figurative electric chair in your immediate future, what is your last meal?

Jake: My mom’s homemade flour tortillas, roasted salsa, a thick ribeye, and a cold beer!

Erika: Oh, the last meal… a heaping bowl of bolognese with an ample amount of a really beautiful parmesan. Or maybe Tacos Al Pastor. And some black licorice.

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