Chef Julio Ambriz – Tabú


401 N Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60642

Check Out:

  • Tabú is currently rolling out their new fall menu with dishes like a Colombian Arepa
  • Tabú is home to Chicago’s largest collection of Mezcal tequila
  • Tabú celebrates Halloween on Oct. 28 with their La Noche de las Brujas
  • Tabú has live DJs every Friday and Saturday for dancing from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.


Colombian Arepa With Pork Belly and Hogao

For the Arepa Dough (serves 5)

  • 5 cups of white corn
  • 3/4 cup chihuahua cheese
  • 3/4 cup caribe cheese
  • 1 tbsp melted brown butter
  • Salt to taste  

For the Hogao Sofrito serves 5

  • Small Diced tomato – 1 Cup
  • Small Diced onion – 3/4 Cup
  • Minced garlic 1 tbsp
  • Butter 1 TBSP
  • Salt & pepper To taste

Plate up serves 1

  • Bijao Leaf 1 whole
  • 1 cup Arepa dough
  • Caribe cheese 1/2 cup
  • Pork belly 2 thick slices
  • Hogao sofrito 1/4 cup
  • Sour cream 1 tbsp
  • Garnish


  • Start by cooking the corn with 4 times its volume in water, bring to a boil and then reduce flame to medium heat until the corn is tender.
  • Mill the Corn with a food mill or food processor while adding the cheese so they combine well. Once all the corn and cheese is milled, put the dough on a bowl, add salt and melted brown butter and proceed to kneed till smooth and homogeneous dough.
  • Portion in 5oz balls and shape into the arepas, fix them on parchment paper and refrigerate for 2 hours so they can set. Cook them while they are cold on high temperature because since it has cheese in the dough, they can melt and lose its shape if the dough is warm or the pan is not hot enough.
  • Place the Bijao leaf or (Banana leaf as substitute) on the Pan, coat with light oil or pan spray and place the arepa on the leaf immediately. This will infuse the leaf’s flavor to the arepa.
  • Sear for 2-4 minutes per side until desired color is reached. Add the arepa with the leaf on a plate, add your toppings and enjoy with a nice Colombian hot chocolate or Coffee