Published: 05:00, 10 June 2022
| Updated: 14:05, 14 June 2022
A restaurateur who opened up a shop selling staple food to customers during lockdown has branched out with a Mexican.
Julian Ramirez has launched his latest venture Mexicano, just a few doors away from his other business Rico Sabor in Rochester High Street.
Unable to open as a restaurant during the pandemic, Julian got up at the crack of dawn to pick up potatoes, pasta, eggs, tomatoes, and tinned food from his wholesalers in London.
Residents queued down the High Street to pick up goods on their doorstep during the height of Covid-19.
Chef Julian said: "The people here have remained very loyal to us. We supported the community and the community are supporting us."
Half Spanish and half Colombian, Julian, 38, is selling Mexican street food to eat in or take out at the diner which he used to run as a delicatessen.
And to make sure he got the flavours right he visited the Latin American country several times to see what food worked with diners.
Julian and wife Marcella opened their first Rico Sabor in Gravesend offering Spanish and Mexican food in 2016. Three years later they opened the Rochester branch and in October last year he launched his third restaurant in Dover.
The dad-of-two young daughters started cooking at the age of four after watching his grandmother in her kitchen in Colombia.
His father Vincento worked in top restaurants in London and it wasn't long before Julian followed in his footsteps after gaining qualifications at catering college.
He said: "We only opened last Thursday, but we have had people come in and then return with friends the same day.
"We serve Mexican and Spanish at our Gravesend Rico Sabor restaurant, but we have kept our one here just Spanish."
At his latest restaurant, Julian prepares the food, which includes tacos, quesadillas, nachos and guacamole every day and has taken on a Brazilian cook, Roberto dos Santos to help him.
Sabariego Aranda from Andalucia, Spain, works in the kitchen where diners can see their food being prepared and cooked.
Hungry for Latino food? Read our guide to the county's best nibbling posts here.
Mexicano seats up to 20 people inside and outside.