Hol­i­day Recipe

GA Voice - - Food & Mixol­ogy -

Some­times it’s con­scious. When I was do­ing the burg­ers, I needed to build a Cuban burger, so the most pre­dictable thing was a chorizo burger. Some­times it’s just the way that I cook.

Who in­flu­ences you?

My in­flu­ences come from all of the chefs

Mean­ing for­get ev­ery­thing. I have to do what you would do. I have to fla­vor it the way you would. So from do­ing that so many times, I still main­tain my Latino up­bring­ing in my food and how I ex­press it, but I also take a lit­tle bit from you.

Yes. I was afraid of fail­ure. Most restau­rants fail within three months. Then af­ter three months it’s a new met­ric. Then it’s the six-month mark and then it’s the nine-month mark and the one-year mark. I was look­ing for places in Mid­town and I couldn’t af­ford it. I made my busi­ness plan and I knew I needed to be some­where where I could be open for at least a year. I also had the fear of whether or not peo­ple would like my food. To put some­thing out there and some­one doesn’t like it, it’s very per­sonal.

You have strong feel­ings about your food be­ing eaten as cre­ated with­out sub­sti­tu­tions.

De­cem­ber 11, 2015

So with ev­ery­thing there’s a pur­pose. Yeah, if you want the burger with­out the fries and you want veg­eta­bles ... but when you or­der the burger plain, that’s when I say I don’t think you’re gonna like it. You’re lit­er­ally re­mov­ing ev­ery­thing. Let me take you on a jour­ney. Let me do my job.

Does be­ing an openly gay chef present cer­tain chal­lenges that are for­eign to straight chefs?

How fast can you carve a tur­key? How fast can you debone a chicken? Can you do the job or not? That’s what peo­ple care about in the kitchen. I love liv­ing my life. I’m a proud gay man and I don’t feel any lesser. It’s very free­ing.

What are your plans for Christ­mas?

This year we’re go­ing to spend Christ­mas

Di­jon Cran­berry Rel­ish

and New Year’s in Paris. We usu­ally rent an apart­ment and I go to the Rue Cler mar­ket and I grab in­gre­di­ents and I come home and cook. How many chefs can say they stayed in a French apart­ment, lived like a French per­son, went to the mar­ket and prac­ticed French?

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