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“Xilli” is the original term in Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) for chile, now a staple of the Mexican kitchen. Up here in Brooklyn, chef Nacxi Gaxiola’s small company, XILLI, is crafting salsas, moles, escabeches and adobos to honor traditional Mexican flavors and techniques.

In Gaxiola’s more than 15 years of experience in the culinary world, perhaps the most interesting résumé line is from when he consulted as an executive culinary researcher, revising the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mexican Gastronomy (or, the Diccionario Enciclopédico de la Gastronomía Mexicana). Pretty cool, right?

XILLI strives to source ingredients within the U.S., and as close to their Brooklyn kitchen as possible. Some of the more tropical products do come from Mexico – after all, they are making authentic Mexican sauces! And XILLI works with the National Immigrant Farming Initiative to support Mexican immigrant farmers and laborers in the U.S., which provides training, networking opportunities and rights advocacy.

As huge fans of Mexican food, and trying our hand at homemade dishes, Gaxiola’s mole makes our lives that much easier. His mole poblano recipe is one for the books.

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