Butcher’s Union Chef Shares His Family’s Holiday Traditions

Tamales are a holiday tradition for Alexis Rocha and his family.
Tamales are a holiday tradition for Alexis Rocha and his family.

Butcher’s Union is one of the hottest restaurants in town these days; even at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, the dining room is bustling. GR|MAG asked executive chef Alexis Rocha to share how he and his family will be spending the Christmas holiday and most importantly – what will be on their plates.

GR|MAG: What’s on your menu for the upcoming holiday?

Alexis Rocha: Typically we’ll do brunch at home – chorizo and eggs, Finnish pancakes, lots of fruit, tamales, beans and rice.

GR|MAG: What adult beverage do you like to pair it with?

AR: My family doesn’t usually have any paired beverages. Typically, we’ll have St. Julian sparkling juice, OJ and coffee.

GR|MAG: Do you have any holiday traditions you make sure to do each year?

AR: Every year its making tamales, my siblings and their families, my parents and my immediate family all stay at someone’s house for the night, whether it’s mine, my brothers or mothers.

GR|MAG: As a kid, do you remember one of your best Christmas gifts that you received or that you gave to someone?

AR: One standout gift I got was a Tyco RC Rebound. It could drive almost all terrains, flip over and drive. It was pretty wicked. Being a parent of three now it’s great to make their Christmas’s memorable, but its even better to be able to bless other families and involve our kids. Our kids have big hearts and love to make or buy gifts for people.

GR|MAG: Are there any holiday songs that get you the holiday spirit?

AR: “Put the lights on the tree” by Sufjan Stevens, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon & Yoko Ono, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Frank Sinatra.

GR|MAG: Do you have any suggestions for a crowd-pleasing appetizer at home chefs can make for holiday parties?

AR: Chicken liver pate. If its made right it is awesome and it’s a great item to introduce people to liver. It’s a family favorite now.

GR|MAG: What do you think is a must when creating a classic Christmas feast?

AR: During Thanksgiving, for example, is the only time I make green bean casserole. During Christmas, it’s making and having tamales. Overall making items that are only done for those occasions – it builds the anticipation for the holiday’s feasts even more.

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