El Atino brings a burst of Latin flavours to Richmond. This bright new venue is simultaneously a café, store, and aspiring cooking school. On a sunny Melbourne evening, my plus one and I were delighted to experience a glimpse of the Latin cooking culture. A seafood ceviche greeted us upon arrival, seasoned with just the right amount of spice without being too overwhelming. We alternated between grinning and chewing as empanadas, slow-roasted pork tacos, and chocolate brownies appeared throughout the night.
Owner Alfredo Pimienta spoke from the heart about his love of food and sharing it with others. Now he is turning that passion towards teaching others about Latin cooking through their cooking classes (scheduled to start in December). We were treated to two short demonstrations, where head chef Martin Zozaya showed us simple ways to add flavour to seafood and create tender cuts of steak. Pimienta is focused on delivering fresh, authentic Latin flavours, saying the culture was ‘infused in our upbringings.’
Want to experience this love yourself? Start your morning with Dulce de Leche French Toast from the cafe, peruse the wall of hot sauces available for purchase, or revel in the house-made corn tortillas. Seriously, get your hands on these tortillas and experience one of life’s simple joys.
When Pimienta moved to Melbourne eleven years ago, he realised that the variety of food he experienced here made him a better person. I’m happy for El Atino & Co. to enrich my character as well as my tastebuds.
Jenny Schmidt has a fiery passion for food, booze, and hot sauce.
Did somebody say all day breakfast? Click here for more information about El Atino’s café, food store, and cooking school.