MARCUS MEDINA: From Cal-Mex to QMex
My guest today is Marcus Medina. Marcus is a chef from California by way of Mexico, Manhattan, and many stops in between. He’s also the food mastermind behind QMex and it’s sister restaurant here in Beijing, QMex Taqueria. If you’re a long-time listener to the show, you might swear I’m on the PR payroll for QMex, but it’s honestly my favorite restaurant in Beijing. I have always loved Mexican food, and being from California, where Marcus first developed his style, I especially love and relate to the flavors he brings to his dishes. There’s also the fun fact that my very first guest on the show, Loren Heinold, is a partner in the restaurant and gets some of the credit for me being able to enjoy it in the first place, so there’s that.
This interview was recorded just before the lunch rush earlier today on the patio outside of QMex, so there’s a little street noise but it’s not obtrusive. I liked how alive it made it feel so much that this interview is very unedited, which is impressive considering just how much both Marcus and me like to talk! My average interview probably has about 150 edits, mostly to remove random noises or unproductive tangents, or to shorten pauses between thoughts and keep a consistent pace, but Marcus and I found a groove right off the bat that rocked along so well that the edits are mostly to wait for a passing delivery cart or loud conversation to pass.
I have known Marcus just a little before doing this interview but when we sat down with no distractions and got into it, it felt like I'd really found a kindred spirit. At a surface level that makes sense, since we each have the gift of easy conversation and we both have California as a home in common - his my birth, mine by choice - and that goes a long way to explaining it. But as we talked, I realized that I related to Marcus’s story on a different, much more philosophical level too...
He talks about his love for New York, but how he probably stayed a little too long in NY. I can relate, since I feel like I stayed a little too long in LA. We both have lots of love for the places that helped redefine us, but if you’re driven by the spirit of adventure, staying in one place too long is about as close to death as you get with your eyes still open, and one thing you will never say about Beijing is that it’s stagnant.
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QMex on WeChat: qmex_mexican_grill *** Marcus Medina interview on FM Lifestyle:
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