Great British Menu chef Caroline Martins brings Brazilian-Mexican fusion to Hatch

The top chef behind the Sao Paulo Project will be flinging tacos, nachos and salgadinhos under the Mancunian Way

By Kelly Bishop | 10 March 2023

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Always hatching new ideas, Brazilian chef Caroline Martins seems to be taco-ing over Manchester. She has just launched a new street food concept at Hatch.

Caroline has appeared multiple times on Great British Menu and worked in some of the world’s top restaurants. The chef has already won a host of fans with her upscale Sao Paulo Project which started at Blossom Street Social before moving into a permanent spot at Exhibition. Now she’s bringing her brand new concept RIO-MEX to colourful shipping container food, drink and retail hangout Hatch under the Mancunian Way.

Caroline Martins is taco-ing over Manchester. Image: Hatch

Don’t expect the usual magic mushrooms from Caroline Martins at Hatch though, RIO-MEX is “a Brazilian-Mexican fusion street food project” and will be staying true to Hatch’s casual vibe by serving tacos, loaded nachos, churros and salgadinhos. These savoury nibbles traditionally include pastries like pastels and empanadas as well as deep fried croquettes like coxinhas and are often served at Brazilian pubs so they’re ideal for enjoying with a beer from one of Hatch’s bars. 

Before Caroline was a professional chef, she was working in plasma physics research at the University of Texas. This was where she fell in love with America’s beloved Tex-Mex cuisine. She’s added her Brazilian roots into the mix to come up with a hearty street food concept that will surely be a hit with Hatch fans. 

Baja fish taco from RIO-MEX at Hatch. Image: Caroline Martins

On the menu at RIO-MEX will be mix and match tacos including one filled with five-hour slow cooked chilli con carne, a pork al pastor one with pineapple salsa, a Baja Fish one with a breaded cod goujon tossed in cumin infused oil, biquinho pepper mayo, and a deep-fried vegan halloumi oine with chilli sauce. All tacos come with crunchy additions like house pickles and roasted corn nuts. Elsewhere on the menu, salgandinhos will include both beef (risoles) and chicken (coxhinha) croquettes as well as Brazilian deep-fried sausage rolls (enroladinhos) and some lovely deep-fried cheese balls.

For those with a sweet tooth, there will be mini churros with a doce de leite filling, a chocolate custard and a chocolate mousse tartlet with passion fruit curd. Caroline sources her chocolate which is made from Brazilian cocoa beans from Dormouse Chocolates in Manchester.

Chocolate tart from Caroline Martins at Hatch. Image: Caroline Martins

Caroline is also bringing two of her favourite Brazilian cocktails to Hatch: a Batida made of Brazilian peanut candy (paçoca), vodka and condensed milk, and a lime, sugar, and vodka concoction called a Caipiroska .

Caroline Martins says: “I fell in love with Hatch back in 2022 when I visited for the first time – the whole vibe was awesome! It’s the home of diversity in Manchester and a place where you can get everything done in one place. You can pop in, get your nails done, buy a cool vintage vest, get a cocktail at Miami Ice and have some incredible street food for dinner. And now RIO-MEX is joining. We can’t wait for everyone to try our beautiful Brazilian-Mexican fusion menu.”  

The Old Curiosity shop has also opened at Hatch. Image: Hatch

In other Hatch news, a preloved and vintage store with a focus on sustainable shopping has also landed at Hatch. Brought to Manchester by the team behind Age UK Manchester, The Curiosity Shop offers “an alternative to fast fashion and strives towards elevating the charity shop experience”. Expect shop full of thrifted and upcycled items as well as regular workshops demonstrating “how to breathe a new lease of life into clothes collecting dust in your wardrobe”. 

All profits made from purchases at The Curiosity Shop will support Manchester’s older community and will go towards providing them a “relationship for life” with Age UK Manchester. The Curiosity Shop will be open Monday to Sunday, 12PM – 6PM . 

Ashley Carter Lawlor from The Curiosity Shop says: “The Curiosity Shop team are so excited to be joining the Hatch family. We love the idea of independent creatives all working on individual projects in a collective space so it seems like the perfect place for us in Manchester. We’re excited to meet all of the fabulous people of Manchester who shop sustainably and care about ethical retail, especially since all purchases will go towards a great cause. See you all soon!”

We’ll be heading down to check out both new places soon and so should you.