Myrtle Beach restaurant owner passes down father’s legacy from capital city in Mexico

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Traditional dances, music, and flavorful foods are all a part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The month-long celebration that starts September 15 highlights the many Americans who trace their roots back to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South American, and the Caribbean.

Folks at Chile Frito celebrate their Hispanic culture in every day by serving authentic Mexican dishes.

“From Mexico to Myrtle Beach we brought all [of] this legacy to continue with this excellent food, with this flavor, with amazing service,” said Gabo Montalvan. He owns Chile Frito in Myrtle Beach.

“That’s our legacy. That’s the way we try to do the things here at Chile Frito,” he said.

Montalvan has been sharing his legacy with Myrtle Beach for over a decade. “The legacy comes with the recipes” he explained. “All the recipes we use are real ones – are authentic and really old.” he said.

The authentic recipes he uses today are over 120-years-old. They originated in Durango, Mexico, Montalvan’s home.

The restaurant was a legacy passed down from his father Jesús Montalvan. He owned one of the longest running restaurants in Durango called El Casino.

Hoping to fill his father’s shoes at a young age, Gabo said it all started with a spark of curiosity in his father’s kitchen.

“I used to go behind the kitchen – I tried the beans, tried the peppers, tried everything, the potatoes and all the aromas. I grew up with those aromas,” he said.

Now a whiff of sizzling peppers, onions, cilantro and other fresh ingredients greets you at the door of his very own restaurant.

Everything he learned from his father he hopes will bring will bring people of different backgrounds together.

“Our Latin legacy – our Hispanic legacy is all about happiness,” Montalvan said. “It’s all about dance, it’s all about cha-cha-cha, it’s spicy flavors – colorful and enjoying. That’s what we will have here at Chile Frito,” he explained.

Montalvan said he hopes he’s making his father proud. Passionate about fulfilling the legacy his father worked hard for, he also hopes to one day pass the restaurant onto his son.

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