5 From The Frontline: Spirit of Vanguard Spain in New York

Favorite ways to get a cocina de la vanguardia food fix in the confines of New York City.

1) Savory Spain : wd~50*

Grounded in the Adrià brothers’ spirited taller culture, Wylie Dufresne performs the best of his workshopped dishes at wd~50 for a devoted and largely foreign (non-island) clientele.

Now seen as the fourth Beatle to the Chicago food Mafia power trio (Bowles, Cantu, Achatz), Dufresne deserves a bigger and more consistent local patronage than he’s found on the otherwise welcoming shores of Manhattan. Perhaps 2007 will be his year.

*(wd50 if you can’t find the tilde)

2) Sweet Spain: Room 4 Dessert (see separate post)

Goldfarb headed the 2006 Sweet Pack, but will need to hold off Pichet Ong, Sam Mason and Iacopo Falai in 2007. Better yet, maybe the four will build a vanguard destination dessert culture to match Chicago’s success with savory gastro-tourism. Until then, he’s given us an updated Espai Sucre for NYC.

3) Spanish Food and Wine Education: Instituto Cervantes

Preeminent center for Spanish language and culture instruction offers themed weekly food courses combining lecture, discussion and dinner. This semester Penelope Casas’ series begins with foundational ingredients and dishes of Spain–olive oil, paella, acorn fed pork, etc.–and finishes with front-line experimental fun.

Wealth of weekly courses give the gamut of Spanish wine grapes and regions their due. This is the place to imbibe Iberian oeno-enlightenment.

4) Best Places for Visiting Spanish Chefs: James Beard House/Dining Room at UN

A series of high-end Beard benefit events in 2006 and 2007 are bringing New York the top tier of Spain’s experimental culinary world. Admirable inclusion not just of the best-known established stars but also up and comers. Tickets run around a thousand dollars a person, so the major dinners are not for the faint of heart or thin of wallet.

For the rest of us, consider the dining room at the UN. In 2006 a series of ambitious weeklong guest-chef events highlighted various regions of Spain. As a bonus, heavy duty sponsorship kept meals well under forty dollars a head. One of the best values in town and likely to be repeated in 2007.

5) Loading the larder: http://www.willpowder.net

Goldfarb gives us the keys to the Wonka factory. You’ll have to be your own Oompa Loompah,though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: