Sunday, October 7, 2012

the thing about uncertainty

The deeper we go in, the more I realize the beauty (and the curse), the fascinating and the pulse raising thing about owning a restaurant is all the uncertainty that floats around. There is no way of knowing "you've made it", or that "you've gotten there". There's no way of knowing if you'll be around, if you'll be popular in a month, if the buzz will keep on. Each day you shoot high and hope for the best and you wake up wanting "better". Uncertainty makes you shiver and then aggressively pushes you forward. 

Owning a restaurant requires sprinting while running a marathon. It’s about putting all your energy into one night and making it magical, fantastic, memorable. 5pm rolls around and you begin pouring it all out, the dark takes over and you surrender to it and its flow, its mistakes and its gifts, you leave it all out there on the floor. The next morning you wake up with soreness of the body, the heart and of the mind. Still, there’s this force that helps you fight through it. You get up and you do it all over again. And I have to believe that force is uncertainty. In the right light, uncertainty is that very thing that pushes you, keeps you present, makes you feel alive, the one thing that opens you up to it all (for the good and for the bad). Not knowing where you'll be tomorrow hurries you to get there.

As we keep on keeping on, maybe we'll beat it or maybe it will get the best of us, but I believe if we are open to it, if we let it, uncertainty might be the one thing that gets us to where we want to go and best of all, it’s the thing that will keep us humble all the way through.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Magic of a Dinner Party Lives On

Image via Dancing Branflakes

People often wonder what exactly it is that I do at our freshly new Comodo restaurant. Many ask me if I cook, if I help with the cooking, if Felipe and I cook together. The answer is a simple no. In fact, if you want to know the truth, I can barely use the oven (and when I say barely, I mean I have never once used an oven). What I am really drawn to, in a big way, is the magic that happens when people get together for food and the invisible molecules that float around the air of a dinner party. This draw goes all the way back to when I was a child. Growing up in Mexico City, I believe this is true to all Latin America, it’s normal and routine to go to sleep with dinner noise. On a Monday, Tuesday or any given day of the week, a last kid’s thoughts and sounds before falling into profound sleep are that of their parents, their friends, their special music, conversations and laughter. As a child I also developed a strong connection to the anticipation of a dinner, which is just as strong of an emotion as the party itself. The experience would begin with me in my mom’s room, watching her get ready and dressing up for the big event because no matter how routine a dinner party could become, you always get ready, it is always special and you always prepare for it with care.
So here I am now, and no matter what Felipe and I call our project (dinners at home, supper club, pop up dinner parties, restaurant) it seems like I always land in the same place, craving that dinner party experience. At Comodo, every night is beautifully different and we prepare for it with care. The anticipation begins to build as soon as we wake up and start prepping for it, wondering what will happen at night, who will be there, what will be talked about. And when a champagne bottle is popped and receives a clap from the entire dining room, during those instances when we hear a wave of laughter across the room, or when one table gets up to greet and hug another table I think maybe we have done it, maybe we have transferred the dinner party into a restaurant. And when those nights happen, Felipe and I close the restaurant with satisfaction in our hearts and with many anecdotes and stories about people and the magic that happens when food is around. And it is during those late nights when we say to each other, let it be loud and let girls wear out their best dress. Let it be different and let it feel special, let our friends greet Felipe at the kitchen and let our guests greet people at the door. If it has followed us around this far, let the night win and let the magic of a dinner party take over.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bring in Spring with Worth Kitchen

One minute it’s 70 degrees outside, the next minute it’s might start snowing. But that’s not going to stop us from hosting another dinner at City Grit. “Obvio que no!” (Translation: Obviously not).

So March 23rd at 8pm the Worth Kitchen/Comodo crew is scheming up a Spring Time menu in honor of the sunny days ahead. 

And as the countdown begins for the Comodo Restaurant opening we want YOU to help us narrow down the list of potential upcoming menu items. Dinner will be 5 courses, and nothing less. Wine will be available for purchase. Buy tickets here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Brazilian Carnaval Dinner

For those of you who weren’t (and those who were) able to jet off to Rio this “Carnaval” season, come join us as we pair up with Brazilian Chef Caro  on February 24th for a festive 5-course supper. 

Once again, we’ll be hosting our awesome group of dinners in the SoHo City Grit space. So show up in a “Samba” costume, or show up in black tie, just make sure to show up. 

Festivities start at 8pm.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Worth Kitchen Dinners are Back!

Saturday January 28th

Hello all! 
It has been too long since last we met up and had dinner. I think the time has come to get together again as we have much to catch up on. 
In an attempt for transparency and bringing you into our creative process, we want to invite you to begin to taste the very recipes that will end up on the tables of Cómodo Restaurant. (If you haven't heard of what we are planning yet, check it out overe here)
Come and join us on Saturday January 28th at 8 PM (yes, we are finally doing a dinner on Saturday for your increased entertainment)! We will be doing a 5 course dinner. Wine or beer will be available for purchase. We are heading back to the amazing City Grit space in SoHo (Prince & Mott) Buy your tickets here!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Taking Worth Kitchen to Catering

First off, the feedback I received from my last post was simply.... amazing. Thank you all! You guys rock. You gave me crazy amount of momentum!

Now on to the next post. Many of you might not know, but for about 9 months I have taken the Worth Kitchen concept, wrapped it up and starting going out and doing a lot of private dinners and catering events. Its has all been going really great. Slow start, but various opportunities have come.

All of a sudden, December rolls around and in one weekend I have to feed about 450 people! WHAT?!?!?!?
I promise pictures will come. Today is the first event of three. I barely slept. My jaw is locked... Tends to happen with stress.
Can't wait for Tuesday when its all over!

As for what will happen with Worth Kitchen once the restaurant kicks off, I am keeping the brand up and running 100%. We will be doing private dinner parties within the restaurant once a month on a given Thursday. The same concept that we have kept alive, 5 course dinner with wine pairings. Along with this, I am keeping Worth Kitchen alive as a catering company. We have been (thankfully!) very successful and want to continue being able to offer the Worth Kitchen experience to others, no matter what size!

But anyways, just wanted to relieve some of the stress and nervous bugs going through me right now! So thank you again for sticking by!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

From Ideation to Execution

Ideation is always the easier part. Saying, I want to do this or I could build that slips out of our mouth because the power of our mind is limitless. We can build universes in our head, but what becomes the hardest part of it all is the actual creation & execution of said ideas. How many times have you said, I am going to do, build or create something and never actually go through with it?
Well, this time around I decided that it was going to be different for me. I am not going to be the one that says “Yes, I am going to at some point open up a restaurant.” But I instead want to be the one that actually makes it happen, and make it happen in a way that is successful not only in a business way but also in a experiential way.

With that said, I present to you a Cómodo, a restaurant that invites you into the living room of a Latin American home.

NY has been introduced (and has fallen in love) with Latin American street food. Tacos al pastor, elotes on a stick, arepas, and many other Latin American nibbles have become part of NYC foodies’ language. But this is just the beginning, and the city is ready for something more, a deeper connection to Latin American food. Cómodo will invite its guests into the Latin American home, where they’ll taste the art behind a Latin American dinner party. It will be about the food but it will also go beyond the food, into the experience. It will be social, the way dinner parties are, good food, extraordinary wine and conversations that go deep into the night. Guests will savior the sobremesa and will strike that magic hour after a meal where the best and deepest stories are shared around a table. The food will be prepared with care, seasonality will be considered, a higher level cooking technique will be applied and bright Latin American colors will paint the plates.  Guests will come in and forget about time, the hours will pass and they will leave with a satisfaction in their hearts, stomachs and their souls. 

And so it begins. The true tales of how to open a restaurant in New York and the full process of making it happen will be told and shared. The project will hopefully be up and running very soon. I will eventually also have a kickstarter page up and running. But for the moment I am seeking funding for management partners as well as investors. If interested or know anyone that would be, please let me know!