I sat down with Mazzi in front of the Juice Factory, just three doors down from his restaurant, the United Falafel Org; here in Vilcabamba.
Q:Have you had other restaurants, Mazzi?
A: No, this is my first! And I’ve been here since February. I wasn’t supposed to be here but the other guy took off. I wasn’t planning on committing so much of my time to it, but now I love it so much. I literally live there.
Q: And it’s doing so well!
A: It’s doing so well because of Yasu and his cooking tips, which would have taken me a year or more to learn. He makes the flavor of the food!
Q: I think it’s also about you, Mazzi, who you are. People like you.
A: I’m very particular about service, the training of the staff. When I was in the States, CA and NY particularly, I realized what good service was. Every coffee shop in New York, how they treat their customers. For me, I know it sounds hokey, but it’s really not about the money. It’s the instant gratification I receive when someone says, “This is the best falafel I’ve ever had.”
Q: It’s the best falafel I’ve ever had. I’m thinking it’s the Ecuadorian parsley.
A: We really don’t do anything special, ingredient-wise. It sounds cheesy, perhaps, but our goal is to please people. I think the secret ingredient to our falafels, our food, and the restaurant, is the love and the preparation.
Q: Hey, what’s your retreat center in Brazil, called, Mazzi?.
A: We have a healing center in Brazil, and my wife is running that. It’s called Acolher.
Special Blessings to Mazzi and his family. We love his food.
Here’s Mazzi’s recipe for his Tahini Sauce, but he won’t tell us the proprtions!
Mazzi’s Recipe – Tahini Sauce
Heat the skillet and the oil. Toast the sesame seeds for 7-8 minutes until brown, or just changing colors. Then stone grind the seeds, 1 pound at a time, for 2 hours. We then add sea salt, prepared mustard and white vinegar.”
Word of the Day – restaurante – restaurant
Tip of the Day – Ask the owners for their recipes. It’s flattering, and you may get one!
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