Mercadito Continues “Tacos For Strength” w/ Chef Gene Kato


Two of Haute Living Chicago’s recent features have come together for the April month of a culinary campaign titled “Tacos For Strength.” The campaign is led by Mercadito (108 West Kinzie) Chef Patricio Sandoval and features tacos from a different celebrated chef each month to benefit Share Our Strength. It’s a great organization who’s sole goal is to end child hunger. For the April month Sandoval has teamed up with Chef Gene Kato of the new hotspot Sumi Robata Bar (702 North Wells). Guests can enjoy Kato’s refined Japanese cuisine in taco form with his Soy-Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly Tacos with pickled daikon salad.

“To create the recipe, I sought Japanese recipes that matched the profile of my favorite traditional Mexican taco, Al Pastor, most closely,” Kato says about his creation. “I found the answer in Japanese braised pork, which creates an exceptional flavor profile when used in place of a Mexican protein like barbacoa pork.”

I like the idea of combining Japanese and Mexican flavors for a taco and can’t wait to test it out. The taco will be available from now until Tuesday, April 30. As far as the “Tacos For Strength” campaign, Kato is the second Chicago chef to contribute to the program, which has raised more than $7,000 to this point. There are few things better than delicious food and helping out a good cause. Five percent of the sales from Kato’s taco will be donated to Share Our Strength and will help ensure that children get the food they need every day. Reservations for Mercadito are recommended and can be made by calling 312-329-9555.