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The fish was paired masterfully with a 2009 Cabernet Franc. The grapes were grown and pressed in the vineyards of Guadalupe, about 700 miles southeast of Juarez.

Later in the seven-course meal came a handcrafted shot of orange sorbet topped with maguey worm salt from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Mr. Herrera stood nearby as guests devoured the piercingly succulent treat. It’s point, he noted, was to “clean the palette.”

“I’m more than proud to be a Mexican and even more proud to be from Juarez,” he said. “The new attitude of my people is an attitude of picking up the ashes.”