Private Air New York

Winter 2015/2016

Private Air New York Magazine

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Page 68 of 87 Private Air New York | Winter 2015 69 By: Gina Samarotto THE BEYOND COSME The Creative Genius of Enrique Olvera DINING "ere was Mexican food before Enrique Olvera, and Mexican food after Enrique Olvera" so says Ferran Adrià, in an oft- repeated quip that has made its way around countless tables across the globe. As the man behind Barcelona's El Bulli and with a designation as one of the most brilliant molecular gastronomes ever to wield a can of liquid nitrogen, folks in the culinary world tend to take Adrià seriously. And Adrià, clearly, takes Olvera very seriously indeed. To his point and as those who have ever sampled Olvera's fragrant culinary magic would readily attest; truer words have never been spoken. Chef, restaurateur, food activist and author, Olvera has never been one to settle for mediocrity. e Mexican born Olvera opened his first restaurant, Pujol, at the tender age of twenty-four. Passionate about the native ingredients and rich, culinary history his country offers, Olvera let his love for both pave the way for his meteoric rise. Known for a style of cuisine deeply rooted in tradition, Olvera's food is as sophisticated as it is approachable. at seemingly simple melding has paved the way for the myriad of accolades the chef has collected - Olvera was named by Food & Wine as one of the 10 Next Chef Superstars and Star Chefs International Chefs Congress chose the culinary phenomenon as one of the Top-Ten International Figures in World Gastronomy. Having realized his passion for food as a child while puttering about in the kitchen of his grandparent's bakeshop, Olvera's career began in earnest when he arrived in the US to complete a course of study at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Shortly thereafter, Olvera headed west to sharpen his skills through a brief stint in one of Chicago's most exclusive kitchens before returning to Mexico to open Pujol. Nearly from the moment the restaurant opened its doors, the acclaim for Pujol was thunderous. Widely recognized as the best restaurant in Mexico, Olvera's regional creations have been described as elevated Mexican food honed "to an almost Japanese aesthetic." A staple on countless lists showcasing the best of the best, Pujol was recently named as one of the Top 50 Restaurants in the World – number sixteen to be exact, narrowly edging out Eric Ripert's iconic Le Bernardin. And Olvera is just getting started. After several other wildly successful restaurant openings in his native Mexico as well as founding the Mesamerica Culinary Conference in 2012, Olvera made a triumphant return to the United States and in 2014 launched Cosme in Manhattan's Flatiron district. Featuring Olvera's signature style of regional cuisine steeped in the rich flavors and traditions of Mexico, Cosme is also applauded for celebrating local and seasonal offerings from the nearby Hudson Valley and surrounding areas. An instant hit, Cosme quickly became one of the hottest reservations in New York – no small accomplishment in a town rife with restaurants sporting velvet ropes and waiting lists. Despite the well-earned buzz though, food focused media and recreational diners were not the only ones to take notice of Olvera's talents. e lower east side hotspot is a veritable private club for some of the most recognized names in the restaurant business and on any given day one may find Batalia, Boulod or Vongerichten tucking into Olvera's savory masterworks. Since its inception, the still youthful Cosme has been awarded three stars by the New York Times as well as being nominated for the James Beard Foundation's Best New Restaurant award. Not one to rest on his laurels and capping off an already lengthy list of credentials and commendations, Olvera was recently awarded a Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award – staggeringly impressive notoriety for a chef who was studying for his CIA finals when many of his counterparts were already well ensconced in careers.

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