In an interview published on February 1 in the Spanish economic newspaper and website Cinco Días, reporter Paz Álvarez asks chef José Andrés if he would ever open a restaurant in Spain. "If I returned to Spain," he replies, "it would be to do something very big, or very special. Today, for instance, there's much controversy over the hotel El Almoraima, in a 17th-century convent on state-owned property in Cádiz, which the government intends to sell, over the objections of the Andalusians. It's an amazing place, where I spent the first night of my honeymoon, and I'd like to help there. Or else to become culinary director of the Paradors of Spain [state-run luxury hotels]."
When asked if he considers himself more of an entrepreneur or a chef, Andrés replies that he's more of the latter. "What has happened," he says, "is that chefs have come out of the dungeon and now we are important, but at the same time that we are pay attention to our kitchens, we must also pay attention to our business. Paul Bocuse or Michel Bras were cooks but also entrepreneurs. You have to control your own destiny. I feel, even though I've had 29 years in the kitchen and 21 years in the U.S., that I'm at kilometer zero in my profession. Now is when I can start doing things right."
Can haute cuisine ever be profitable, asks Álvarez. "Very profitable," Andrés replies. "I'm sure that the Roca brothers of El Celler de Can Roca [currently named the world's best restaurant in the San Pellegrino/Restaurant Magazine ranking] are profitable. It's a well-run business. Gastronomy has to be profitable, otherwise it makes no sense."
Evoking the Spanish-based Zara clothing company, the world's largest apparel retailer, Andrés says that we wishes Zara co-founder Amancio Ortega would share with the current generation of chefs his secrets for having turned high fashion into an internationally successful ready-to-wear business. "We need a Zara of tapas," he says."Why isn't there a chain like Pizza Hut for paella or tortillas [Spanish omelets]?
I doubt that Andrés would be happy to see paella or tortillas reinterpreted for the mass market with the same attention to authenticity that Pizza Hut brings to one of Italy's most emblematic culinary specialties, but I know what he means.
For cultivating our palettes and shaping our culture. He has introduced new and vibrant ingredients to our Nation, whether through his innovative techniques in the kitchen, his work on clean cooking technology and access to education, or the inspiration he provides to new Americans.
José Andrés knew he wanted to be a cook since the time, as a boy, he helped his father prepare paella in the woods of northern Spain and yearned to be in charge of the fire. “I fell in love with making the fire,” he says. The quality of the fire, he learned, determines the quality of the quintessential Spanish dish. He would take that love of fire and, over the course of the next several decades, transform it into a collection of 22 restaurants —some of them among the most innovative in the United States— and an international reputation as a major culinary influencer.
Andrés left school at 15, went to a culinary and hospitality school, then had the good fortune to work in a restaurant frequented by Ferran Adrià, the father of Modernist cuisine, which led to a job in Adrià’s legendary restaurant elBulli. When the Spanish navy conscripted Andrés into service as a cook, he was thrilled—he’d get to see the world!—until he learned (perhaps because of his talent) that he’d been assigned to the admiral’s house, and would be going nowhere.
He petitioned the navy and was given a spot on a boat, cooking for midshipmen. One of the first ports of call was Pensacola, Florida, where he saw five flags flying, one of them the Spanish flag. He felt both welcomed and intoxicated. After sailing into New York Harbor, below its grand suspension bridges, past the Statue of Liberty, he knew this was the place he wanted to be.
Four years later, with $50 in his pocket, he returned to the United States. He landed a job as cook in Manhattan at an outpost of a popular Barcelona restaurant, Eldorado Petit. In 1993, he helped to open Jaleo in Washington, D.C. Along with paella, the restaurant served tapas, small plates of fresh, simple dishes.
Two years later, Andrés was asked to take over Café Atlántico, also in D.C. The restaurateur Richard Melman’s words to him stuck in his head: “You need to throw your anchor and build your future.” The nation’s capital would be that place. He was 25 years old.
In 2002, he opened Zaytinya, featuring eastern Mediterranean cuisine on small plates. And the year after that, minibar, a restaurant within a restaurant where his Adrià-inspired creativity could thrive.
Best chef awards and more restaurants followed, including the James Beard Award for best chef in the country in 2011.
Not only did he create a small restaurant empire, Andrés’s manic energy, curiosity, intelligence and love of his native Spain has made him one of the great ambassadors of Spanish food and a chef who also works to improve impoverished parts of the world. “We [chefs] feed the few,” he said, “but we have the opportunity to change the world.”
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Making this dish is one of my earliest childhood memories. I was probably no more than seven or eight when my father took me to the town where he grew up, Ribas, which is located in the Aragón region of Spain, about two hours from Barcelona. We had a second uncle who lived there in this very old house. It was very cold that day, because it was early spring during Lent, and it was already getting dark when we arrived. There was a big, metal cauldron over an open fire in his chimney in the kitchen, and he was cutting bread. I watched as he sprinkled the bread with water, massaging it with his fingers, and then letting it rest. He let me pour some water over the bread, too. He then took some pork fat, melted it in the pot, and threw in the bread. As he cooked it, he seasoned it with more pork fat and garlic cloves. The smell was intoxicating, and it took practically an hour of cooking to be ready. Experiencing this dish of saut bread that’s perfectly crispy and at the same time perfectly soft, is something I’ll never forget. Simple yet unbelievably delicious, its inspiration has rarely left my side since that day. (Photo: Flickr/Jonathan Pincas)
Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes.
Add the chile peppers and toast, stirring, for about 3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and sugar.
Cook until the liquid evaporates and the mixture is a dark red-brown color, about 15 minutes. Stir in the paprika.
Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée. Pour into a bowl, and season with salt, to taste.
Notes: Salmorra may be kept in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 10 days. Drizzle the top with olive oil to keep sauce from drying out.
8 large whole shrimp, peeled with heads and tails intact, deveined
4 ounces monkfish, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 ½ ounces fresh tuna, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 ounces fresh squid, cleaned and cut into ¼-inch rings
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 cups hot, high-quality seafood stock
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 13-inch paella pan over high heat.
Add the shrimp and sear for about 1 minute on each side. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Pour 2 more tablespoons of the olive oil into the paella pan, add the monkfish, tuna and squid and sauté for 2 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the salmorra and rice and cook for 1 minute more, stirring to coat the rice with the sauce. Set a timer for 5 minutes, increase the heat to high and add the hot stock.
Bring to a boil, add the saffron and season with salt. Stir the rice during the first 5 minutes while boiling, then lower the heat and simmer for an additional 11 minutes. Do not stir the rice again as it may cause it to cook unevenly. After about 8 minutes, lay the reserved shrimp on top of the paella to finish cooking for last few minutes. The paella is finished when the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
Remove the paella from the heat, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the paella rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with spoonful&rsquos of aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and a green salad, if you like.
Make China Chilcano's Ceviche Clásico at Home!
Head Chef Carlos Delgado shares his recipe for Peruvian Ceviche Clásico
Variation 2: Tortilla with Tuna and Roasted Peppers
Sesame & Sea Salt Tortas with Piquillo Peppers & Tuna
This savory dish brings together smoky piquillo peppers and tender white tuna.
Recipe: Mussels in Escabeche with Potato Chips
Open a bottle of dry white wine or sherry, a can of these mussels and a bag of chips. you&rsquoll have a party in five minutes!
Cook & Eat Like José This Labor Day
Enjoy the very best of Spain this Labor Day with Chef José Andrés&rsquo selection of artisanal gourmet foods, now available on La Tienda.
Scallops with Roasted Catalan Sauce
Seared scallops with a traditional romesco sauce from Spain.
Almejas con puree de perejil
Traditional Catalan Flatbread with Roasted Peppers and Anchovies
Coca de Cebolla con Pimientos, Anchoas y Queso Manchego
Seared Tuna with a Traditional Andalusian Salad
Pipirrana con Atún: Seared tuna with a traditional Andalusian salad of cucumber, tomato, pepper and onion
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As empty storefronts continue to dominate many neighborhoods around New York, one of the world’s highest-profile chefs is doubling down on his commitment to the city.
This fall, José Andrés will openਊn outpost of the beloved Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya in the new Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad. A branch of the high-end avant-garde dining spot Bazaar will follow later in the year, also in the downtown Manhattan hotel.
“I’m committed to New York in a big way. It’s a city I believe in” says Andrés in a phone interview. He adds that while Washington is his hometown, “I have always had a sweet tooth for New York.”
Andrés, who garnered a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nomination for feeding disaster-hit areas through his nonprofit World Central Kitchen, says he plans on spending concentrated time in New York in the second half of the year, gearing up for his restaurant openings.
New York isn’t the only city Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup is focused on in 2021. The restaurant group has four dining spots slated to open in Chicago by the end of summer. Three concepts are located in the new Bank of America tower on the south branch of the Chicago River, operated in partnership with the famed steakhouse and martini experts Gibsons Restaurant Group. They include Bazaar Meat, the seafood-focused Bar Mar and Joe by the River, an all-day café.
The Chicago enterprise is ThinkFoodGroup’s first partnership with another restaurant. An outpost of the Spanish tapas spot Jaleo will also open in River North this summer.
“You’re going to see more of these partnerships with restaurant groups,” says Andrés about how his company will be doing business.
ThinkFoodGroup, which has 29 restaurants as well as locations for its fast-casual spot, Beefsteak, across the country, ꂬquired the Bazaar brand from SBE Entertainment Group in 2018 for an undisclosed amount of money. The group bought Bazaar, whereਊndrés wasxecutive chef, to assume full controlਊndxpand it beyond the SLS hotels in which they had been located.
Andrés had announced in early 2020 that he would opening restaurants in New York but didn’t reveal the concepts. Although the pandemic has upended many planned openings around the city, ThinkFoodGroup stayed committed to its dining rooms, which are only a few weeks behind schedule.
“New York is a special market to José and to me, and we’ve seen the city bounce back from so many challenges,” says co-founder Rob Wilder. “We have 100% confidence that New York will come back.”
José Andrés knew he wanted to be a cook since the time, as a boy, he helped his father prepare paella in the woods of northern Spain and yearned to be in charge of the fire. “I fell in love with making the fire,” he says. The quality of the fire, he learned, determines the quality of the quintessential Spanish dish. He would take that love of fire and, over the course of decades, transform it into a collection of 22 restaurants, some of them among the most innovative in the United States, and an international reputation as a major culinary influencer.
Not only did he create a small restaurant empire, Andrés’s manic energy, curiosity, intelligence, and love of his native Spain have made him one of the great ambassadors of Spanish food and a chef who works to feed the poor. “We [chefs] feed the few,” he said, “but we have the opportunity to change the world.”
“I have long suspected José of being a secret agent of Spain,” says chef, author, and television host Anthony Bourdain. “He is its loudest and most persistent supporter. Chances are, when America is introduced to a hot, new Spanish chef or an exciting Spanish product, José is somehow involved. He is also a ceaselessly working activist on a number of important social issues, a great and important cook, chef innovator, and bringer of enlightenment—and a very, very nice guy.”
I’ve known Andrés, peripherally, for a number of years, and what has always struck me about him was his explosive energy, which he uses to fuel a perpetual quest for the new. He is the sort of chef who will come across a glass of water and say, What can I do with this glass of water that’s never been done before?
Or to use one well-known example from his culinary repertoire, How can I transform my mother’s favorite tapas, Marcona almonds and cheese, into a completely new version of itself?
His answer was to make a puree of the almonds with a little water, then freeze a layer of it on the back of a tiny ladle using liquid nitrogen when removed, this frozen almond puree has become a cup into which he pipes a whipped cheese, and he garnishes it with a drop of passion-fruit syrup. A new, Modernist dish from an ancient idea.
Andrés left school at 15, went to a culinary and hospitality school, then had the good fortune to work in a restaurant frequented by Ferran Adrià, the father of Modernist cuisine, which led to a job in Adrià’s legendary restaurant elBulli. When the Spanish navy conscripted Andrés into service as a cook, he was thrilled—he’d get to see the world!—until he learned (perhaps because of his talent) that he’d been assigned to the admiral’s house, and would be going nowhere. He petitioned the navy and was given a spot on a ship, cooking for midshipmen. One of the first ports of call was Pensacola, Florida, where he recalls seeing five flags flying, one of them the Spanish flag. He felt both welcomed and intoxicated. After sailing into New York Harbor, below its grand suspension bridges, past the Statue of Liberty, he knew this was the place he wanted to be.
Four years later, with $50 in his pocket, he returned. He’d landed a job as a cook in Manhattan at an outpost of a popular Barcelona restaurant, Eldorado Petit, at 47 West 55th Street. It wasn’t long before he wandered down West 55th into the Quilted Giraffe, a paragon of nouvelle cuisine, where he worked for free for a month between shifts at Eldorado. Not only was this Barry Wine restaurant making innovative food, it taught Andrés more about timing and management.
In 1993, he helped open Jaleo in Washington, D.C. Two years later, Andrés was asked to take over Café Atlántico, also in D.C. The restaurateur Richard Melman’s words to him stuck in his head: “You need to throw your anchor and build your future.” The nation’s capital would be that place. He was 25 years old.
In 2002, he opened Zaytinya, and the year after that, minibar, a restaurant within a restaurant where his Adrià-inspired creativity could thrive. Best chef awards and more restaurants followed, including the James Beard Award for best chef in the country in 2011.
In a thorough chronological history on Andrés’s website, there is, in all of the decades covered, a single exclamation point. It’s not for the Beard Award, or for being named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. It is for this: “2013: José becomes an American citizen!”
“I think we’re all looking for a place to belong,” he told me.
Michael Ruhlman’s latest book, Groceries: The Buying and Selling of Food in America , will be published in the spring.
Jose Andres on Getting Fired From El Bulli
It was December 1990, And I was 21 years old, working in a restaurant outside Barcelona for my best friend, Ferran Adrià. Now he's known as the best chef in the world, but back then we were just kids, and he was trying to build up a new restaurant called El Bulli. One night he asked me to meet him at a restaurant in Barcelona at 7 o'clock to have a talk. I showed up and he wasn't there. These were the days before mobile phones, so after about half an hour, I left to go find a pay phone to call him. When I got back, there he was, irate. This is a man who likes to be on time, and he thought I disrespected him. He yelled at me for a long time and accused me of lying to him, then told me he didn't want me there anymore.
So there I am in the middle of Spain, it's raining, and I'm out of a job at a place I thought I would spend my entire career. The soundtrack of my life started playing. It was like those movies where there's a shooting and someone's little brother is shot in slow motion. I was just standing there in the rain, cars driving by. Within a week, I moved to New York to try something different. I had never thought about trying to be a chef in America, but I thought now was the right time, and I didn't have any other choices. That was 20 years ago, and moving to the United States really was destined for me. America gave me the opportunity to open successful restaurants, start a TV show, and write books. I can even fill an auditorium when I give a speech, which in America is rare for a chef.
Maybe the mistake was leaving to find a pay phone. Or maybe it was his mistake for not believing me. It's still my favorite. There are those occasional moments in life where something happens that feels like the end of your life and career. But it started something entirely new for me. It pushed me onto a different path that was even bigger.
Seven years later, I went back to El Bulli to see Ferran. I walked in and we just gave each other one of those Spanish hugs when you put your hand behind the other guy's neck. Now we're best friends. We consult each other on recipes and menus. We even go on vacation together with our families. He's coming to America soon, traveling for a new book he wrote. He actually called me 15 minutes ago to talk about his trip, but I was talking on the phone, so I didn't answer. Please don't tell him I said that.
This Is The ONLY Way You Should Be Frying Your Eggs
Just when you thought eggs couldn't be any more incredible or edible, a video emerges forth from the Internet ready to scramble your whole belief system.
And as if to vouch for its significance, the video below was posted to Instagram by not one celebrity chef, but three -- Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert and Jose Andres -- all claiming it as the singular way to fry an egg.
It's called the Olive Oil Fried Egg, and a representative told HuffPost that it's served at many of Andres' restaurants as it's his favorite way to fry an egg.
The three aforementioned chefs were in Puerto Rico participating in the first annual Dorado Beach Culinary Getaway, where Bourdain, Ripert, Andres and Jose Enrique show off their best tricks.
To do this one, Andres lays a cracked egg into a saute pan that's been drizzled with four tablespoons of olive oil and brought up to medium-high heat. He then tips the pan so that the oil pools together at the edge of the pan, and spoons the oil over the yolk until the egg is fried into a crisp roll.
He demonstrated it for the New York Times a few years ago and explained that he'd been trying to find the best way to fry an egg "my whole life." He loves this method due to "the humbleness of the dish. Why do you need to do anything more complex?”
José Andrés Confirms Details of Two Upcoming Nomad Restaurants
Whether it’s a disaster site or communities hit hard by the pandemic, José Andrés regularly crisscrosses the globe with his nonprofit World Central Kitchen to help out. But come this fall, the celebrated chef will be spending more time in NYC with the opening of Zaytinya and Bazaar by José Andrés at the Ritz-Carlton New York in Nomad, located at 1185 Broadway, at West 28th Street.
Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup will be in charge of the food-and-beverage offerings at the luxury hotel, which is still under construction and located across the temporarily-shuttered Nomad Hotel. Zaytinya — a Washington, DC favorite since 2002 serving Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese fare — is set to open first this fall. The Bazaar will debut a few months later and is typically more extravagant with dishes like caviar-topped tacos and a tortilla de papatas “new way” served with potato espuma.
While Andrés has nearly 30 restaurants in cities across the country and world, his Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards was his first NYC project. Yesterday, Eater Chicago reported that Andrés is opening his first of three restaurants in Chicago with an all-day cafe called Joe by the River this summer.
In other news
— NYC’s latest speakeasy La Noxe, which is tucked into a subway station at 28th Street and Seventh Avenue, has a wait list with more than 900 reservations.
— It’s no surprise given their success last year, but Bon Appétit reports that Filipino doughnut pop-up Kora has a waiting list of 10,000.
— New Yorker critic Hannah Goldfield hits up Native Noodles in Washington Heights.
— Long Island reportedly has its first Egyptian establishment with Aubergine, a food truck located in Plainview.
— Kate Telfeyan, a former chef at Mission Chinese in Bushwick who had been selling and delivering weekend meals throughout the pandemic, has joined Porcelain in Ridgewood as co-owner and executive chef.
— Celebrity chef Charlie Palmer made his mark with Aureole, which started in an UES townhouse before moving to Bryant Park in 2009. The restaurant closed during the pandemic but is slated to open as Charlie Palmer Steak NYC on April 15, according to a spokesperson.
— Construction on another Moxy Hotel, at 151 Bowery, appears to have restarted. The Marriott chain already has three NYC locations, and this space is slated to include a lobby bar and cocktail lounge.
Recipes For The People: A Hot Plate of Food When It’s Needed Most
Two weeks ago, I came across a video on Twitter called #RecipesForThePeople. It was a cooking video posted by José Andrés, a Spanish-American chef and founder of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters.
In this six minute clip, Andrés and his daughters made angel hair pasta and tomato sauce as they sang and danced their way through Hamilton. The internet went crazy — from, “I did not think I could love José Andrés more. I was wrong. ,” to, “Love this so much, but I was seriously worried you were gonna catch the towel on fire! Thanks to you and your family for cooking with @HamiltonMusical!.” Another viewer said, “How can you NOT fall in love with this amazing human?” Meanwhile, others asked, “Was the garlic not peeled. ”
At the beginning of the video, Andrés, donning his iconic “Immigrants Feed America” shirt, explains the rules of the game, “We try to find out how long the song is and then do a recipe that everybody can do.” His daughter Carlota clarifies, “But within those minutes!”
Before they begin, Andrés explains something important, “The Italians call it Pasta Pomodoro — I don’t know.” He shrugs that suggestion off and insists, “Spanish people — you know we invented tomato sauce. Yes everybody knows that!”
The ingredients, all set out, are tomatoes, spinach, some cheese (whatever you have), garlic, olive oil and salt. “We go!” Andrés’s daughters turn on “You’ll Be Back”, a song from Hamilton performed by Jonathan Groff (King George), and Andrés quickly throws in the angel hair pasta. “In three minutes and a half, you will be ready to eat,” he promises us. As the pasta begins to cook, Andrés throws a bunch of garlic into a pot. The olive oil goes next. “The garlic starts dancing, and he dances to the rhythm of the music,” Andrés sings, personifying the garlic. The tomato goes in. “Boom.” Salt goes in. Sugar goes in. “Little sugar. Not much.”
“Spinach into the water,” he directs Carlota. She throws the spinach into the pasta by accident, but she quickly rescues it. The tomato sauce begins to simmer. “Times are hard — but together, singing and cooking, we can go through anything. One day at a time, one recipe at a time, things will be better in America.”
Three minutes pass. Andrés grabs the pasta pot and throws it into the tomato sauce. 15 seconds later, the song ends, the cheese and black pepper go into the pasta and the meal is done! “Oh my God, the pasta is al dente. The tomato. The spinach. You taste it.” Andrés tastes it. “Oh my God.” More salt. More pepper. “And this is ready to be eaten.”
I first heard about José Andrés two years ago during Hurricane Maria, a deadly Category 5 hurricane that devastated Dominica, St Croix and Puerto Rico in September 2017. Maria is regarded as the worst natural disaster in recorded history to affect those islands and was also the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Jeanne in 2004. When Andrés heard the news, he rushed down to Puerto Rico. As his plane approached San Juan, there was devastation as far as the eye could see. Roofs were ripped off many homes — peeled open like tin cans. Trees were toppled for miles on end or stripped of every leaf.
Andrés immediately started cooking. Alongside José Enrique, a Puerto Rican chef from San Juan, they began cooking sancocho, a Caribbean version of the Spanish cocido, brought to the region from the original colonial settlers who passed through the Canary Islands. By the time the dish became a favorite of the Caribbean, it had shifted to a meat-based stew, often featuring lots of different meats, corn and a mix of vegetables. “When you eat sancocho, you think of your grandmother, and it puts a smile on your face,” says Enrique.
Word spread, and they were soon feeding thousands from Enrique’s restaurant in San Juan. A month later, Andrés was feeding millions across the island as part of #ChefsForPuertoRico, the group he created to grow the effort.
Now, two years later, we are in the middle of another disaster. Andrés is back. His group, World Central Kitchen, is feeding three million people in cities hardest hit by COVID-19.
The mission? A hot plate of food when it’s needed most.
“Our fate as a nation depends on how we feed our most vulnerable citizens through this crisis. If our leaders step up now with federal aid, food can be the solution — supporting millions of jobs, while also feeding millions of people in desperate need,” Andrés recently wrote.
If this message resonates with you, especially if you are young and healthy, I encourage you to volunteer for World Central Kitchen and help feed America.
Best wishes to you all and happy cooking!
Jack Waxman is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected]
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