June has been a good month. Like, possibly the best since I’ve been in Buenos Aires.
My best friend from NOLA (New Orleans, LA) came to visit, I was the top-selling vendor at the Underground Market, I can walk like a normal person (thanks, doc!) and I’m the proud owner of a new dreamy bed with white linens. Oh yes, and I’m weeks away from opening up my puerta cerrada, NOLA. Business cards have been made, website-facebook-twitter have been set up, wine glasses bought, there are only a couple of things missing before I am 100% ready for the public.
So, what is a puerta cerrada? A puerta cerrada (closed door) is a small restaurant that takes place in the home of the chef. They open their doors once, twice, three times a week with a fixed menu. Generally there is one large communal table, however it’s not mandatory. I like the communal table. There’s something mysterious about eating and sharing such an intimate experience with strangers. Mine will seat ten.
You will need a reservation to secure a seat. 48 hours before service the guest will receive an email with the location. Shh don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret. Doors open at 9:00pm and the guest are greeted with a glass of champagne and jazz playing from the speakers. Dinner starts promptly at 9:30 where I will introduce myself along with the evenings menu. Four courses will be served along with wine pairings. The menu will reflect my love of Creole-French-Mexican cuisines and have a rustic meets new age feel. And of course, lots of seasonal and local produce and seafood will be showcased.
The next couple of weeks will be more menu development and putting final touches to the house. I’ve been experimenting with loads of gumbos, bisques, PORK PIE, and more pastries that I want to think of. I’m nervous and will try my best to please every taste bud in that mouth of yours. Yesterday I was in chinatown buying crabs and I spotted mussels. Not the frozen kind, like the still have beards and alive kind. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief as I fought my way through the crowd. I don’t think I’ve ever left chinatown so enthused. Ask my tall blonde friend, she’ll tell ya.
The crabs went to good use in a seafood chorizo gumbo. The mussels were steamed in a white wine garlic sauce and served over linguini with garlic bread. It was a magical day. Add it to the list, June.
A big thanks to all the NOLAchef fans, especially in Buenos Aires. It’s a pleasure cooking for you and watching y’alls excitement over beans & rice.
For more info on my current projects in Buenos Aires, check out this recent interview. To get on the waiting list for the puerta cerrada NOLA email NOLAbuenosaires@gmail.com.