Gon­za­lez nom­i­nated for Beard Award

The Buffalo News - - TASTE -

been con­sid­er­ing how to make an op­er­a­tion work in the vast 4,400-square-foot space, which is roughly twice as big as Mar­ble + Rye, Dim­mer said.

Work­ing ideas in­clude a cof­fee and pas­try pro­gram, with break­fast sta­ples like break­fast sand­wiches.

Lunch might be a steam-ta­ble by-the-pound as­sort­ment, like Weg­mans’ hot bar. That will al­low the restau­rant to serve large num­bers of lunch cus­tomers swiftly, he noted.

“Some peo­ple re­ally only get 25 min­utes for lunch,” said Dim­mer, “so we’re try­ing to make it as easy as pos­si­ble.”

The op­er­a­tion could be up and run­ning this sum­mer, Dim­mer said, “but there’s a lot of de­tails that still have to be worked out.”

Las Puer­tas chef hon­ored: For the sec­ond year in a row, Aca­pul­coborn Vic­tor Parra Gon­za­lez has been hon­ored with a James Beard Award nom­i­na­tion.

The chef-owner of Las Puer­tas, 385 Rhode Is­land St., is a semi­fi­nal­ist for Best Chef North­east, one of 20 named from an area that in­cludes New York State out­side New York City, Mas­sachusetts, Con­necti­cut, Maine, Rhode Is­land and Ver­mont.

Gon­za­lez’s dishes, us­ing Mex­i­can fla­vors cre­atively with French and Ital­ian tech­nique, has brought him faith­ful cus­tomers, and an ar­ti­cle in the New York Times.

“This is a huge mo­ment for all of us at the restau­rant,” Gon­za­lez said. “Not only did we set out to cook what makes us happy but we had to learn and help other peo­ple un­der­stand what it meant for us to cook Mex­i­can food.”

He thanked his co­work­ers, and his cus­tomers. “We are able to cook this way thanks to the guests that come ready and will­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence new ideas and give us their trust.”

The Beard awards, akin to the Em­mys of the Amer­i­can hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, are ad­min­is­tered by the James Beard Foun­da­tion.

Ellen and Steven Ge­dra, of The Black Sheep were hon­ored in 2017. Mike An­drze­jew­ski, owner of Se­abar and Cantina Loco, was nom­i­nated in 2009 and 2010. Fi­nal­ists will be an­nounced March 27.

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