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A tajine in Morocco evoked memories of a great mole, the curry pastes of Thailand reminded him of the great recado pastes of the Yucatan, and a simple, roasted kielbasa in Prague made him compare to his beloved chorizo sausage.In contrast, he also fell in love with new flavors, techniques, and ideas.Jason’s hope is that diners will see Mexican food differently through his eyes: his experiences, memories, and ideas.The goal will be to create a menu of modern Mexican dishes that echo Mexican cuisine: past, present, and future.and what if Heather found her passion for service and hospitality while working in major hotels, boutique restaurants, and tiny dive bars…What if Jason and Heather met in a restaurant in 2005…The food at Xixa will be both decidedly Mexican and not.

As Heather and Jason’s next step, they hope guests will enjoy the familiar concept offered at Traif, but enjoy making the journey with them to a new place, Xixa.So, what if instead of meeting in San Diego, Heather and Jason met in Mexico?What if almost everything else was the same: Jason travelled throughout Europe and Asia, worked in various Michelin kitchens, and grew up gardening and cooking with mom just like in real life…In Paris, he wondered how the endless varieties of cheese might be incorporated in his native cuisine; how the bright, fresh salads of Vietnam seemed based on the same ingredients that he grew up with but were composed in ways he’d never seen; and the art of pasta-making throughout Italy made him wonder about his native grains and what he could one day do with them.Along his journey, Jason met Heather through work, and through inspiration and research, they eventually decided to open Xixa.Jason grew up gardening and cooking with mom, learning and falling in the love with the smells, tastes, and techniques of Mexico.

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