Mala Pata: Heirloom Mexican corn.
The team will be using the ancient process of nixtamalization to cook the corn and grind it in-house to make fresh masa for tortillas, tamales, and more. Expect skewers of grilled NC shrimp, mole chicken thighs, and pork belly al pastor served alongside scratch-made tortillas and fresh salsas. There will be aguachiles, chilaquiles, and of course fried fish tacos. The kitchen will be the focal point of the space with an open view of the action. There will also be two-tops, family seating, and a private booth for those to gather in larger groups. Located next door, Peyote will present a more casual face for takeaway orders, late-night bar snacks, and plenty of frozen margaritas. They will also feature a sneaky good selection of mezcal, tequila, and other exotic spirits.
Born and raised in Raleigh, NC Marshall Davis graduated from Broughton High School and moved to Greensboro, NC to study design at UNCG and inked a record deal during his second semester with the legendary punk label Epitaph Records. He launched a music career and a decade of touring. He returned to Raleigh graduating from NCSU’s hybrid design/business program and entered the hospitality industry in his final year of classes. Marshall honed his bartending skills at Bida Manda and managed the infamous dive bar The Keg. In 2012 he was introduced to Angela Salamanca of Centro Mexican Restaurant and joined as a bartender and floor manager while working with her on opening Gallo Pelon in 2015, Raleigh’s first mezcaleria. The bar won multiple awards garnering Marshall Indy’s Best Bartender in Raleigh in 2017. In 2018 he won Sombra’s National Sustainable Cocktail Competition and spent a week down in Oaxaco studying mezcal production and the people behind the spirit. Inspired by his love of Mexico and culture, Marshall and Angela decided to open their first fast-casual venture Ex-Voto with the assistance of chef Dallas Howard. Delayed by the coronavirus pandemic but not dissuaded the group redesigned the menu, and in its first year Ex-Voto was named one of Durham’s Best New Restaurants by Durham Magazine.
Born in Bogota, Columbia Angela M. Salamanca moved to the United States at age 17 shortly after graduating from high school. She studied at UNC Chapel Hill earning a degree in Studio Art and Art history in 2002. In late 2007 she partnered with her uncle Carlos to open Dos Taquitos Centro which was later rebranded simply as Centro serving and combining Angela’s passion for food, art, music and culture. In 2015 she open Gallo Pelon Mezcaleria, the first mezcal bar in the southeast partnering with Marshall Davis. Their successful partnership took them into another venture in May of 2020 opening Ex-Voto Cocina Nixtamal. Angela’s journey in this industry is a clear parallel of her immigrant story; survival through education and innovation, establishing that sense of home by offering it to others in her spaces. She is a strong believer in the importance of a tight community and healthy lifestyle, and has partnered with The Boys and Girls Club to launch the annual Day of the Dead 5K which largely funds its arts program.
Born in Miami, Florida Eric Montagne was raised in a family with a deep rooted passion of food and hispanic culture. His Mexican and Cuban heritage provided the foundation for his culinary career. Eric first pursued a career in Architecture and Design at Appalachian State University before transferring to Johnston & Wales in Denver, Co to pursue his passion in culinary arts. In Denver, Eric became fully immersed in the restaurant scene and worked as Sous Chef at the Corner Office Restaurant and Chef de Cuisine at the James Beard nominated Twelve Restaurant. After a few years in Denver, Eric made his way back to North Carolina to work for James Beard Award winning chef Vivian Howard as the Executive Chef at the acclaimed Boiler Room Oyster Bar. For the past eight years, Eric has settled down in Raleigh, NC where he was Executive Chef at Standard Foods Restaurant, Butcher & Grocery for two years before joining the team at Locals Seafood in 2018 to open Locals Oyster Bar. Eric’s passion for seafood has made Locals a great fit and the team has gone on to open a second location in Durham as well as begin buildout on a new flagship processing facility and market.
Zack Gragg was born and raised in China Grove, North Carolina where his love of cooking first began. Zack attended Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte receiving a BA in Culinary Arts with a concentration in Business Management. Cutting his teeth in the Charlotte fine dining scene, in 2013 Zack worked at Trip Advisor’s “Best New Restaurant” Heirloom under Clark Barlow. He graduated magna cum laude while working full time and in 2014 received an internship to work at the former Knife and Fork in Spruce Pine, NC with James Beard nominated chef Nathan Allen. 2016 brought Zack to Raleigh where he continued his career at Standard Foods under Eric Montagne climbing into restaurant management. Eight months after being hired he made the jump to Sous Chef holding the position for 2 years. Zack then joined Eric in opening Locals Oyster Bar where he worked as a Chef de Cuisine for 3 years before being promoted to General Manager. Currently Zack works for Locals as a Fishmonger learning the production aspect of the industry as well as growing the event and private catering program. Zack has held just about every type of job in the industry and continues to grow his passion for hospitality every day.