Making Mole

Photography by Jody Horton

“Mole has always been in my family. My mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother all made mole,” explains Luis Gutierrez.

“But no one can call mole a family recipe—it belongs to the universe!”

Born in Mexico City in 1959, Luis has been making mole for at least 26 years—as long as he’s lived in Austin.

Luis is famous among friends for his mole dinner parties, so Edible Austin invited him to show us how it’s done. For this occasion, he led us through making his latest version, huehuemúlli with redfish. “Huehue” means old, and “múlli,” like mole, means mixture or sauce.

“I went fishing for the first time on my 48th birthday in Port Aransas,” Luis says, “and I caught a five-and-a-half-pound pompano. To celebrate, we cooked it whole in a mole verde [made with tomatillos, pumpkin seeds and greens.]”

Tonight’s incarnation is a mole poblano, a mixture of what Luis calls “the holy triad”: nuts, chiles and tomatoes or tomatillos. He tells us that mole may have originated in the late 1600s in a convent in Mexico when a Spanish viceroy unexpectedly arrived for dinner. The nuns frantically went through the cupboards to see what they could throw together. And so mole was born.


Luis’s mole has an extra ingredient—people. Lots of them. “That’s the way mole is. It’s a social thing.”

We invite you to try out Luis’s mole method and throw your own mole party—to celebrate something planned...or unexpected.

Music to cook MOLE By:
Joel Guzman, Sarah Fox and Max Baca:
The Mexican Roots Trio;  Flaco Jimenez: Partners; Los Lobos: Just Another Band from East LA