Roger Federer takes tips from Enrique Olvera on how to make scallop aguachile. Photograph by Ben Lozovsky for Moët & Chandon
Roger Federer takes tips from Enrique Olvera on how to make scallop aguachile. Photograph by Ben Lozovsky for Moët & Chandon

Enrique Olvera gives Roger Federer a cookery lesson

Injury's kept him out of the US Open but the tennis champ found time to work on his serve with our Mexican chef

Roger Federer knows his Mexican food. Well, he sort of knows it. “I grew up eating fajitas and burritos,” the Swiss-born tennis champ, currently ranked number four in the world, told Forbes earlier this week. Of course, that Tex-Mex fast-food version of Mexican dining offers most of us just a small taste of the depths of flavour contained within this often overlooked rich and varied national cuisine.

 

Roger Federer and Enrique Olvera. Photograph by Ben Lozovsky for Moët & Chandon
Roger Federer and Enrique Olvera. Photograph by Ben Lozovsky for Moët & Chandon

So, when a knee injury prevented Federer from competing in the current US Open, the tennis star took the opportunity to work on both his culinary skills and his grasp of global gastronomy, by joining the brilliant Mexican chef Enrique Olvera at an exclusive cookery and dining event, held at a private Manhattan town house last night.

The event was hosted by Moët & Chandon, for whom Federer serves as a Global Brand Ambassador. On the night, guests were paired off with culinary professionals, to prepare their own scallop aguachile, a kind of Mexican shellfish ceviche. Federer buddied up with Olvera, to see how this relatively simple dish requires some remarkably deft knife skills.

 

Scallop aguachile. Photograph by Ben Lozovsky for Moët & Chandon
Scallop aguachile. Photograph by Ben Lozovsky for Moët & Chandon

Though traditionally made with shrimps, Olvera has in the past adapted the recipe to include octopus, and on this occasion picked scallops partly to complement the course’s chosen wine: Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperia. Sounds like a great pairing, though if you want to try cook and dine like Roger and Enrique you may want to couple that with a simple cerveza instead. Whatever your pairing, you can find plenty of Enrique’s incredible recipes in his book Mexico From The Inside Out and other great pairings in Food & Beer.