GASTROARTE WITH CHEF JESUS NUNEZ
An Innovative Chef from Madrid Unleashes His Magic State Side
Author: Paula Farmer/©ICEX
With El Bulli’s closing to the public, along with the departure of Ferran Adria from the chef scene, it’s not surprising that the restaurant-going public and food industry may be looking to fill the void. If that’s the case, New Yorkers may have gotten just the person to do so in the form of Jesus Nunez. As an apostle of modern Spanish cuisine and after successfully heading up to Michelin-star rated restaurants in Madrid (Polenta, Flou), Nunez recently opened Gastroarte on New York’s Upper Westside. During a recent interview in The Epoch Times newspaper, Nunez sites the motivation for launching his first New York venture to good timing and a strong and compelling need for creative expression.
He plans to express that newfound freedom with an admitted avant-garde style that is centered on elements such as texture, art and architecture. Before Adria and El Bulli were well known who would expect a chef to use adjectives such as these that are usually attributed to buildings and design as opposed to exclusively talking about food in terms of taste? This is a relatively new and captivating niche in the restaurant world in America and no doubt many will be enthralled.
What is sure to most captivate his New York audience are the culinary creations themselves as Nunez is committed to authentic Spanish cuisine, a la molecular gastronomy. This translates to great tasting elements that are complex and will dazzle the eyes. Included are items such as Tortilla De Patatas, creamy, gorgeous tapas served in a martini glass. There’s also the “Not Your Average Egg” dish that is getting much buzz. This is egg yolk surrounded by a white substance that’s not egg white, but rather a cauliflower puree. For a main dish example one need go no further than lamb loin with smoked eggplant and Manchego cheese that is served with not one, but three sauces.
It’s not just in food execution that Nunez is mixing things up in the world of retainer. Another thing the chef/pastry chef is doing differently is running the whole show in the kitchen, including cooking, while keeping a close eye on the front of the house too. It remains to be seen how long Nunez can keep up with total control of the back and front of the house as his star rises in New York. As long as he keeps serving up innovation on a plate, that’s what will give him a place on the culinary map of honor in the prestigious food towns in America.
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