J. Coco Does Oaxacan

 I never say no to a fish taco, but then I never say no to squash blossoms either. And then there's shrimp cocktail. Dammit.

I never say no to a fish taco, but then I never say no to squash blossoms either. And then there's shrimp cocktail. Dammit.

I love sitting on J. Coco's terrace during the summertime when their garden is lush and every once in a while a staffer pops out from the kitchen to pick a tomato or a few herbs for someone's dinner. I have a really hard time when I go though, because there are a lot of things on the menu I want to eat, but I can never resist the siren song of the yellowfin tuna salad

So, when I heard that Jennifer Coco was doing Oaxacan street food for this week's Dandelion, I was like, hold my calls. Jennifer chose to do the Oaxacan menu in honor of J. Coco chef Pedro who is from the Mexican state, and with whom she has worked for nearly two decades. "I wanted to do something that's closer to his heart," she said.

Doing a popup is also something a little different for Jennifer, who has a loyal following at J. Coco and from her many years as the chef at the Flatiron Cafe, where she was nominated for a James Beard award. "This is going to be a lot of fun," she says. "It's a way to reach people who might have the misconception we’re really expensive, when in reality we’re trying to make great food  available to everyone."

She says one of the most inspiring things about Dandelion is the same thing that she enjoys about her own kitchen: the eclectic mix of chefs. "There's so much talent in Omaha, and people are amazingly supportive of each other. It really gives chefs the opportunity to take it to the next level."