Richard Sandoval Hospitality presents its second-annual iteration of Día de los Muertos, a global, limited-time, hospitality-focused campaign honoring the famed Mexican holiday and Chef-Restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s heritage.
From Tuesday, October 4 through Sunday, November 6, several Richard Sandoval Hospitality concepts worldwide will offer guests the chance to learn more about the Mexican holiday and partake in a lively celebration through a limited-time menu including holiday-inspired dishes and specialty cocktails (featuring traditional ingredients and recipes central to the holiday, such as the aromatic Palo Santo and the gold-toned Marigold flowers) as well as a series of immersive culinary experiences (inclusive of Tequila & Copal ceremonies featuring Chef Sandoval himself) in select locations.
“Since the start of my career, I’ve set out to connect families and friends through elevated Mexican cuisine,” said Chef Sandoval. This campaign, which is centered around my absolute favorite holiday, is truly an extension of this labor of love. Día de Los Muertos is a celebration that calls on us to remember our family and friends, to bring their stories back to life through food, drink, and sharing. Throughout October, I am inviting our guests to do just that with all of us at Richard Sandoval Hospitality.”
Chef Sandoval launched his first Día de los Muertos culinary campaign in 2021, with dozens of his restaurant concepts taking part in the celebration. Now back for the second year in a row, the Día de los Muertos celebrations will take over 28 concepts globally.
Día De Los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is a two-day festival that originated in Mexico. The festival unfolds in an explosion of color and life-affirming joy aimed at demonstrating love and respect to the past while setting intentions for the future.
Having grown up in Mexico-City, Chef Sandoval’s entire career – and, surely, his 60+ restaurant concepts – are deeply rooted in his Mexican heritage and passion for introducing Latin cuisine to the world, which continually inspires him to create new and unexpected concepts.
Central to this year’s campaign will be the Palo Santo or “Holy Wood.” Native to South America and Mexico, the wood is commonly used in rituals and ofrendas (altars) during Día de los Muertos celebrations for its healing properties. Healers and shamans of South America believe Palo Santo has a strong spirit that bursts through long-after the mystical tree is cut-down and can assist with restoring physical and energetic wellbeing. Channeling these wellness properties, Palo Santo will make its grand debut throughout the campaign as a key ingredient in exclusive menu and cocktail offerings and more.
Mayan Tequila & Copal Ceremony:
Taking center stage at this year’s Día de los Muertos campaign will be an exclusive and wildly interactive Tequila & Copal ceremony led by Nataline Ruth Cruz, a practitioner of Ancestral Medicine and Sacred Teachings. Only available at select locations – including Toro Denver, Tamayo Denver, DLeña DC, Toro Toro Fort Worth, RAYA Ritz Carlton Laguna California and more – the Tequila & Copal ceremony will lead guests through a sensory experience of healing and manifestation
Immediately following Nataline’s ceremony, Chef Sandoval will lead guests through an intimate four-course dinner as he unlocks each flavor that captures the holiday and connects family and friends through shared plates, stories, and memories in true spirit of the Día de los Muertos traditions and celebrations.
Food & Beverage Specials:
Throughout the campaign, gastronomes will be in for a treat with five new exclusive dishes adorning the menus of participating Richard Sandoval Hospitality restaurants. Each recipe has been carefully curated by Chef Sandoval and his world-class culinary team to bring about bold flavors and sensory pairings that all hold a cultural significance to the celebration.
The Tortilla Talavera – an interactive and savory appetizer – features green pipian white mole, grilled cheese, shimeji mushroom al ajillo and cherry tomato salad with each ingredient presented family-style on the table to build the perfect bite. Representing the ofrenda (altar) for the holiday, the Tortilla Talavera holds various grains like sesame, amaranth, almond, marigold, quinoa, and pumpkin pressed into the tortilla creating an almost ceramic tile pattern with ingredients from the Earth.
The Seafood Verde Pozole — crafted with baby squid, shrimp, clams, white corn and marigold cempazuchil oil will serve as one of two entrees central to the campaign. The Seafood Verde Pozole is elegantly composed tableside with a mouth-watering pour-over presentation. Originally invented by the Aztecs, Pozole is greatly remembered during the day of the dead festivities for its history of being made from human meat whose hearts had been ripped out in ritual sacrifice before cannibalism was banned in the 1500s and the meat in this dish was replaced with pork.
The Mole Coloradito — one of the most revered, mysterious and treasured recipes in Latin American cuisine will serve as the second exclusive campaign entrée. A historic and time-honored recipe passed down from generations, the Mole Coloradito is a staple Mexican base sauce made up from a variety of dried chilis, a fruit, a nut dark chocolate and more.
Desserts include two selections crafted with the rich, smoky essence of Palo Santo. El Ritual, which features pumpkin flavors cooked with smoked sugar cane, and is layered with mandarin chocolate sauce and caramelized phyllo, is served beneath a cloche filled with palo santo smoke. The serving of the dish will be ritualized tableside for guests to capture the palo santo’s purifying essence as well as citrus-infused aromas before digging in.
In collaboration with the country’s most authoritative voice on Mexican sweets, Chef Fany Gerson of the famed Brooklyn bakery La Newyorkina, Chef Sandoval will offer a limited-edition Richard Sandoval x La Newyorkina Palo Santo Pan de Muerto for guests to enjoy in select participating U.S. locations or to purchase exclusively via Goldbelly – available for nationwide shipping throughout the campaign.
Festive Patron-centric specialty drinks will include a Palo Santo Margarita, Pineapple Mezcal Sour, Smoked Bees Knees, Passion Fruit & Aloe Santo, and a Vanilla Smoke Cocktail.
Chef Sandoval’s 2022 Día de los Muertos campaign encompasses 28 participating Richard Sandoval Hospitality locations in 10 states including California, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, and Texas, and 5 countries including the United States of America, Mexico, Morocco, Qatar, and the UAE. To find a participating location near you, visit https://www.richardsandoval.com/ddlm/2022.