Growing up in Valencia, Francisco Javier Parreño, current head chef of La Nacional Restaurant in New York, didn’t know he would grow to love cooking, travel the world and come back home every time with a new cooking book or magazine to add to his library collection. With 25 years of experience as of today, he started his profession as young as 15 and later on opened a restaurant in the center of Valencia that offers cuisines of the world. Currently, Francisco puts his experience, knowledge, and love of cooking in each paella, patatas bravas, and other traditional Spanish dishes, that he crafts for La Nacional Restaurant’s clients.
“Hasn’t aged a day in all these years!” Bart Potenza exclaims, indicating the small Buddha statue that presides over the entrance of Candle 79, the upscale Upper East Side restaurant that he and his partner, Joy Pierson, opened in 2003. Tongue in cheek, he adds, “Must be the food.”
In the air above the beach at Ipanema, there was a mist. The sun—low and setting—illuminated it. People glided past one another. Into slow starring reverie I sank, a stream that warmed and carried me along. For the first time, I felt part of Rio. At last I understood. Months after arriving from New York, I had arrived in the inward city inhabited by the native carioca.
As plausible as this scenario seemed, I could not ignore the fact that cebiches are not “cooked” with anything of local origin, but with citrus juice from Old World trees brought by the Spaniards. This seems to indicate that the Spanish colonists either embraced an existing Peruvian technique, transforming it with familiar ingredients, or stumbled upon the method on their own.
“No, actually I’m a cook. Do you know who lives in this building? The last Inka princess lives in Apart. 1. I’m her cook. Do you know something about the Inka culture?”, y ella me dijo “a little bit”, pero no parecía convencida. Entonces abrí mis bolsas que contenían wakatay, quinua, ají amarillo, papitas moradas diminutas -Peruvian purple potatoes- y hasta un cuy gigante que lo venden congelado, en una tienda ecuatoriana. Luego resumí: “I’m the Inka Princess’s cook, and I have to prepare the dinner for her”. Así, ella quedó no sólo convencida sino conmovida de mi insólita confidencia.
Latin America has a long tradition of written non-fiction narrative, known as crónica—think Gabriel Garcia, Elena Poniatowska or, more recently, Gatopardo and Etiqueta Negra magazines—but that tradition has never made the leap to radio. Until now.
There are countless superfoods from all over the world, but the diverse micro-climates of Peru are home to some unique and powerful specimens. These superfoods have been used by natives of the Andes and Amazonian regions for thousands of years. We picked five Peruvian powerhouses in particular to explore how we can incorporate them into our diet today.
We continued chatting over tacu tacu topped with a seafood stir-fry, a slow-roasted goat shank, Mirasol risotto and shellfish in an herbed butter sauce. The sun started to sink into the ocean, as we ended our meal with Andres’ mother’s home-made ice cream. I walked to my car and headed home, my stomach, content, and my heart, full.
November 2009 was a good time to come to Miami. That fall, the country was in love with hope. Obama had won the presidency. The economic free fall had halted just shy of collapse. Hurricane season had come and gone, without the usual havoc. It was time to look up again.
“Aren’t those the loveliest eggs you’ve ever seen? Plucked right out of a fairytale! If Humpty Dumpty had offspring, this is what they’d look like!” I exclaimed to my husband. After a year of living in his homeland I still gush over the novel discoveries I make, and he still chuckles at my enthusiasm.
As a vegetarian, non-drinking gringo with poor Spanish language skills and two left feet, I tend to fall out of just about every ritual of warmth and welcome my Peruvian wife’s clan plans for my benefit, which tend to involve drink, dance, meat-centered feasting and fast chatter. Finally, here is a place where we can all share.
Raquel Quiñones Rivera officially started her music journey in high school, but she’s always had an instinct for the melodic expressionism that is apparent in her vast repertoire. It’s been a journey of self-discovery that began in her early years in Puerto Rico. “Music was a big part of the culture, so it was almost an automatic familiarity with it,” she shares, now reminiscing and reflecting on her past in the midst of a bustling Williamsburg winery.
Raquel Rivera Collective. Photo - Sara Ontaneda Loor
Crónica de una entrevista de verano a Robert Sanfiz, director de La Nacional, en la antigua “pequeña España”
Although going out and experiencing new restaurants in Lima has been extraordinary, there is something to be said about a good old fashion homemade meal. We’ve been blessed with the option if we ever we are in need of food we are always welcome to take a 15-minute walk over to Bae’s aunts’ house, and we will be met with food abundant. One such day we walked over to have a family lunch, and I was introduced to one of Peru’s classic meals, Ají de Gallina.
Alpha’a’s story began in Rio de Janeiro, at the end of 2014, the company launched the first version of the platform via a partnership with a group of major Brazilian galleries and artists. The partnership took place via a t-shirt initiative that funded 25 scholarships for up and coming artists.
Renata Thome and Manuela Seve
Another characteristic of the festival is how international it is. It brings in artists from all over the world: Australia, Austria, Spain, Cap Verde, France, Japan, Belgium, Israel and Congo…and the list continues. And unlike the Newport or the Detroit Jazz Festivals, Montreal features non-jazz acts. This year, rock artists such as Jethro Tull or pop singers such as Charlotte Gainsbourg and Finley Quaye were invited. Finally, on top of featuring the world’s most famous musicians, the eclectic Montreal Jazz festival is also a place where one can discover new artists, who, in turn, are given a chance to present their work in front of a rather large audience. Colombian vocalist Lido Pimienta is one of these breathtaking talents the festival scheduled this year. She performed at the Club l’Astral. In spite of being 8-months pregnant, she brought tremendous energy on stage. She also spoke very openly about having been abused in past relationships, because she believes women have to tell their stories.
Chef Fernanda has been making empanadas and other Argentine treats for over 20 years – and after decades of experience, she has been running her own restaurant, Raíces, in Buenos Aires.
Her partner, Carmen, is a true entrepreneur - she runs her own non-profit organization, Curatorial Program for Research, where they “create a socially-conscious network of emerging curators from around the world.”
Adria’s “Notes on Creativity” is the first major exhibition dedicated to the visualization and drawing practices of this culinary master. The exhibition presents drawings, notes, notebooks, diagrams, pictograms and prototypes by Adrià and his collaborators. We caught up with Adrià at the exhibit, which is currently running at the Drawing Center in New York City.
Hispanic artist Irene Mohedano moved to the U.S. from Spain a mere three years ago as an intellectual scholarship recipient, hoping to learn from and contribute to the New York City art scene. Leaving behind a country that no longer could support the young professional and a traditionalist culture, she began to push new boundaries of art through performance and installation in the U.S.
Cecilia Collantes is an artist in touch with the mysticism of creation. Her abstract works invoke a universal mantra, one that connects the viewer to the energy movement and the volatility of form. Cecilia hopes to continue her artistic journey in New York, and the big city is lucky to have an artist with such a sense of depth. A Matter of Dust presented a great success in capturing the audience; engaging a fluidity of motion through dancing, a cosmic atmosphere, and a universal soul.