I make really good moles, and I don’t think it’s because of my connection to Latin America. Despite the fact that I learned a lot of my flavors in my travels there starting even before I traveled there at 10 years old. I think it’s because, as a cook, I embody what a mole really is: a melting pot of ideas and concepts that continuously evolves. It has no real recipe, no real beginning, and no real ending. I cook, like a mole is. My first mole was a Cherry & Duck Mole for a special Taco Party event at my old cooking school in Brooklyn. From there I went on to create such masterpieces as my Passion Fruit Pork Mole, which came to be while I lived in Ecuador where passion fruit practically dropped from the sky. That recipe is also where I came to use carrots as a source of natural sweetness and a thickening agent (moles generally use a myriad of ingredients as thickeners). I even make mole cocktails and once made a recipe for a Cherry Mole Manhattan. The mole-making process delivers immense pleasure for me and reminds me of the importance of openness in cooking. It reminds me that even in what most consider traditional and culturally specific there is diversity.