The Moles Fair 2019 arrives, admission is free

Among other ingredients, mole can carry chili, chocolate, tomatoes, onion, anise, cinnamon and pepper. / photo: Aurelia Ventura.

Aurelia Ventura / Impremedia / La Opinion

Hilario Reyes Calleja remembers that from a very young age he learned about traditional Mexican gastronomy through the teachings of his mother.

"She is a traditional cook and what motivates me is that although she does not have an arm she has never limited herself to meet her challenges," he said. "Many of the recipes that have succeeded are recipes she has given me."

And so much has been his passion for cooking that the young man, 28 years old, won first place in the Mole de Caderas 2016 contest in Mexico.

"The mole of hips is the emblem dish of Tehuacán, Puebla, where every November there is a season to kill goats … And with the bones the mole of hips is made," explained Calleja.

"It was a dish of the people, dish of the poor … Now it has become a trend [in consumption] and the dish is expensive."

Chef Hilario Reyes Calleja, during a press conference to announce the 12th Anniversary of the Los Moles Fair. / photo: Aurelia Ventura.

He added that after winning the prize in 2016 he received invitations to travel to other countries and to promote his winning mole as well as other traditional tastings.

"Sharing my culture makes me feel with a responsibility where if I am going to cook something traditional it must be attached to the original recipe," said Calleja.

"The fact of having won, gives me the pride of saying that I know how to make a mole and now it gives me openness to play with the ingredients."

Celebrate Mexican culture

The Moles Fair is considered one of the largest food festivals in Los Angeles and about 50,000 people are expected to arrive at the event this year.

In its 12th edition, the Moles Fair 2019 also arrives at a perfect time to recognize the contribution of Latinos during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Callejas is one of the guest chefs that will be presented this Sunday with dozens of local traditional expert chefs.

Apart from the delicious food that will be offered, there will also be traditional music and dances as well as the presentation of a traditional corridor, explained Lourdes Juárez, organizer of the event, on Tuesday.

In the event there will be two stages for attendees to appreciate music and dances. / photo: Aurelia Ventura.

"Attendees will be able to walk down a hall where there will be 20 stalls with at least seven varieties of mole that each one makes," he explained yesterday during a press conference.

“The aroma is intense. They will not only offer it in dishes but also in enchiladas or with the Oaxacan tlayuda ”.

The event will also feature two music stages; as well as the opportunity for talks with traditional cooks who will share their advice to make the elaborate but delicious dish.

The moles represent several regions, mainly from the states such as Puebla, Oaxaca and Guerrero. By tasting the dishes, the public will decide who is the best.

It is estimated that the mole can take about 30 or more ingredients to make it and it is estimated that there are more than 50 types of this traditional dish. Among them the yellow mole, the green pipian and the traditional mole poblano.

The green mole, or green pipian, is one of the most popular. / photo: Aurelia Ventura.

Juarez said that for nine years the festival took place at Placita Olvera but due to its popularity they decided to change it to the Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles.

"The diversity that is lived in Grand Park is unique because everyone does feel welcome there," said the organizer.

Where is the Moles Fair?

It will take place this Sunday, October 6 from 10:00 a.m. in Grand Park, located in the 200 N Grand Ave block. Los Angeles, CA 90012. Admission is free and there will be a variety of food, drinks and desserts for sale.


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