My name is Robert Groves. I’m a freelance lexicographer by trade, and for a few years I was writing the food blog MexiGeek (which has been inactive for a couple years, sorry).
I’m originally from California, but I’ve been living in Edinburgh since 2002. When I first moved here, you could hardly get any "real" Mexican food. One day, while eating some particularly uninspiring nachos, I began thinking about how the British think of Mexican cuisine (as a stodgy, sloppy, informal mess) and how there are no Michelin-starred Mexican restaurants in the UK.
Before lunch was over, I had a rough idea of the story of a Mexican chef who travels to the UK to start a Mexican fine-dining restaurant based on authentic Oaxacan cuisine.
I’m excited about this project for several reasons. It deals with something I really love (authentic Mexican cuisine). It’s the first time I’ve created a protagonist who isn’t just a stand-in for me. And (spoiler alert) it’s the first time I’ve come up with a story that has a happy ending.
But I’m nervous as well. Although the protagonist spends much of the novel living abroad (as I do myself), he is from Mexico, and I am not. I want to portray him with realism and sympathy, but there is always the possibility that I will slip into inaccurate stereotypes without realizing it or intending, even though I like my protagonist and adore his country and culture.
So I’m going to need a lot of help from readers and supporters. Anything that seems like a stereotype or an insult, anything that seems condescending or just plain wrong, you have to let me know about it (politely please; I promise I won’t have done it on purpose). Together we can make this a moving story about a great country and a great culture.