Alex Stupak is launching The Push Project, a series of guest chef dinners at his East Village restaurant Empellon Cocina. The first event, on the evening of October 5, will feature chef Enrique Olvera, of Mexico City's acclaimed Pujol Restaurant (ranked #36 in the world).
"It's a nice way to break the monotony," said Stupak about the idea behind the dinners, which he plans to put together four times a year. The way Stupak envisions it, he'll bring in a chef or two at a time to collaborate on a tasting menu. Each side will contribute about three courses, and Empellon's pastry chef Lauren Resler will do dessert. And though the event kicks off with a Mexican chef, Stupak says he plans on putting on dinners that might end up having little or nothing to do with Mexican cuisine.
The chef describes the choice of Olvera as a no-brainer. In an e-mail he explained, "We felt it most appropriate to begin with someone who personally welcomed us into his Mexican kitchen to cook, years before we were ever certain we were going to have one of our own." He's referring to Pujol's tenth anniversary, when Stupak and Resler were invited to Mexico City to cook alongside René Redzepi, Alex Atala, and several other international chefs. Most recently, Olvera invited Stupak to present at his gastronomic summit Mesamerica. "We are beginning with someone who we believe best exemplifies the present and future of Mexican cuisine."
The six-course tasting menu will cost $125, with an optional agave pairing at $40. Reservations can be made by phone at (212) 780-0999.
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