With Day of the Dead fast approaching, chef Martha Ortiz and the team at Ella Canta are busy preparing for their second year of festivities. The traditional Mexican holiday, also known as Día de los Muertos, is a time to honour deceased loved ones and assist them on their spiritual journey. To mark the occasion, Martha has crafted an eight-course Painted Black tasting menu with accompanying serves; the perfect opportunity to gather friends and family and celebrate life at Ella Canta.
Available from 1–17 November, the Painted Black menu has a continuous river of black running through each dish, a line that celebrates life. The recipes combine bold, authentic flavours with contemporary culinary techniques, with dishes such as Burnt corn masa, huitlacoche, cheese and black habanero ashes and Black tamal stuffed with entomatado short rib and chicatana sauce. The eight-course menu is completed with beguiling desserts including Maria goes to Mictlán, The Land of The Dead and Dark chocolate spheres with a magical dust of smoked chile.
To complement the bold and creative tasting menu, the bar at Ella Canta will offer three special Painted Black cocktails. Celebrating life through death, the striking Lady in Black is a picante, citrusy and fierce margarita, whilst those looking for something spicy, sour and sensual can choose the Ella PiCanta. Finally, the El Curandero is a fresh, tangy and magical creation inspired by the legendary witch doctor who uses magic and spiritualism to rid those of illnesses caused by a curse or evil spirits.
From 1–3 November, the ever-stylish Ella Canta team will be fully embracing the holiday by dressing Día de los Muertos style. A festival epitomised by its stunning floral headdresses, vibrant skull-like face paint and traditional Mexican dress, guests are encouraged to do the same by dressing to impress. As is practised in Mexico, a Day of the Dead alter will be constructed to honour the dead, and a colourful collection of fresh flowers, candles, photographs, catrinas and trinkets will adorn the restaurant.