On this episode Zarela and Aarón are thrilled to present another parent-child duo who dedicate their lives to preserving their culture through food. Juan and Jonathan Zaragoza’s family-run Chicago restaurant Birria Zaragoza is known as the best birria in Chicago and, according to Aarón, Chicago is the best Mexican food town in the country. 

Juan started making birria at his restaurant in 2007, and since then he’s garnered national attention for his version of the Jalisco comfort food. Their birria is very unique. It's made with goat that’s marinated in ancho-based mole, then combined with a tomato-base consomé and roasted overnight in lard for a crispy tender meat that The Infatuation declared the “best goat tacos” anywhere. Juan’s son Jonathan learned how to make birria from his dad at age 12 in a wood burning oven built by his father and grandfather. When Jonathan is not making birria, he’s running El Oso (“the bear” in Spanish and Jonathan’s childhood nickname), a Chicago pop-up combining traditional Mexican cuisine and local midwest ingredients all cooked over a wood-burning stove. 

Listen in for this heartwarming conversation between two families striving to live the American dream while promoting authentic Mexican culture. 

For more recipes from Zarela and Aarón, visit zarela.com and chefaaronsanchez.com

Jonathan Zaragoza

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