It seems that every year Pixel has been able to travel in the months of October and November. This year was no exception as we ventured down to the Mexican state of Jalisco in search of fine Tequila. The production trip was simple, produce a 90 second spot about an up and coming tequila brand, Tromba, featuring their tagline “Take Life By Storm”. We poised to capture people living the tequila lifestyle both in urban and rural settings while learning what makes their love and passion for the agave spirit tick. Sitting down and chatting with several artisans in the capital city of Guadalajara, we bared witness to their progressive and diversive contribution to the city’s slowly changing cultural landscape. Mexico isn’t all about sombreros, donkeys, and shooting back tequila any longer. It has evolved into a more dynamic and culturally rich destination that promotes the live work balance in perfect harmony. Tromba represents this new wave of thought as it is widely revered as a delicately balanced sipping tequila to be savoured and enjoyed.
After meeting with famed Chef, Alfonso Cadena, of the Hueso Restaurant in Guadalajara, we learned much about the lifestyle element of consuming tequila. Alfonso grew up in Mexico but did a majority of his culinary training in Vancouver, BC. His new restaurant, Hueso, reflects this background while boasting an eclectic mix of rustic and fine dining inspired dishes. Splash in more than 10,000 cattle bones used as wall art accompanied by a white color scheme and guests are left in bewilderment by the visceral culinary experience Hueso provides.
Venturing further into the depths of the city, we came across Raphaella Cavalcante. Originally from Brazil, Raphaella is an independent clothing designer making vibrant and contemporary garments that empower women. Her designs are influenced by her Brazilian heritage as well as the time she’s spent on the West Coast of Vancouver, British Columbia where she established her label, Culturella. Now residing in Guadalajara, the city has given her label the opportunity to thrive with it’s low cost of living and growing demand for authenticity.
The city is no stranger to handmade items and Marina Pallares is a perfect representation of this. Living as a full time artist she chooses printmaking and the art of lithography as her preferred medium of expression. She meticulously crafts her work by hand with a magical realism that infuses her own personal experiences to create surreal and whimsical landscapes depicting raw human emotion. Her work is featured widely across North America and can even be found on the bottle of Tromba Tequila where she’s perfectly etched the agave fields from where the spirit is harvested.
Wanting to get a better sense of the tequila making process, we packed up the van and headed into the highlands of Jalisco where the agave fields grow. Once in the rural highlands, we had the chance to meet with several farmers who work hard to harvest the agave plants. These farmers, or Jimadors as they’re known, use a special blade called a coa to slice and dice the sharp prickly form of the agave. Once cleaned back, the 50 – 80 kilo ball can be plucked from the ground and transported to the distillery. They say that a single agave plant produces approximately 3-5 litres of tequila each!
Everywhere we explored in Guadalajara left us energized. The passion that the Mexican people have in everything they do is extraordinary with each person we met taking life by storm in their own form. They weren’t cookie cutter molds living a sub par lifestyle – they were engaged and excited individuals campaigning and creating a new Mexico to call their own. We were happy to have been apart of their journey and are excited to share more of their stories in the future!