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Chef Residency Is Restaurant’s Most Exciting Trend

Chef Residency Is Restaurant's Most Exciting Trend

They appeared to be a heap of pilfered crystals. A trapezoid made of fresh bass, a pale rose quartz. Refreshing verbena granita, with its invigorating crushed ice flakes. A generous drizzle of oil, a sprinkle of salt, and a delicate nasturtium leaf placed gently on top. This fresh, aromatic, zesty crudo was created by Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske Valtierra, the talented chef-owners whose skillful ingredient combinations and playful presentations have inspired a new wave of chefs at Contra in New York. However, I didn’t get the chance to try this dish at Contra, or anywhere else in NYC for that matter. The six-course tasting menu was introduced last November, just 20 days after Stone and von Hauske Valtierra permanently closed Contra, at Teodoro. Are you familiar with it?

Unlikely. Teodoro, the new flagship restaurant at Riviera Maya’s Impression Moxché by Secrets, boasts a showpiece open kitchen and offers breathtaking sea views through its floor-to-ceiling windows. Indeed, Secrets, now under the ownership of the Hyatt family of hotels, aims to revolutionize the concept of all-inclusive resorts by offering dining experiences that will genuinely pique your interest. The dinner was the highlight of a weekend event with the New York chefs, marking the beginning of the Impression Makers Supper Club series. Pop-ups, residencies, retreats — they are gaining popularity as chefs, regardless of their experience, are increasingly breaking free from the confines of traditional restaurant kitchens.

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Tropical Invitation: A Serendipitous Escape

“We engage in numerous collaborations, both on-site and offsite,” Stone explains, referring to the Impression Moxché weekend as a fortunate invitation that came at the perfect moment. Contra was coming to a close after its decade-long run. Von Hauske Valtierra’s family, residing in Mexico City, also owns a house in the vicinity of Tulum. Spending a weekend in the tropics must have been quite appealing. Occasionally, we engage in activities that are located at a considerable distance, as it presents us with a chance to explore new places.

Notable chefs who are always on the move include Fred Morin of Montreal’s Joe Beef, who will be making an appearance at Auberge’s White Barn Inn in Maine for an exciting culinary weekend in May. Mauro Colagreco of the Michelin-starred Mirazur is also constantly on the go, with limited residencies in Singapore, Sydney, and Los Cabos. And let’s not forget Alon Shaya, who will be launching the Safta 1964 residency in April at the Wynn in Vegas.

In a bid to match the achievements of its Mayan counterpart, Rosewood Mayakoba recently played host to the Rockies on the Riviera. This exclusive event showcased the talents of three renowned individuals from Colorado: Christian Hammerdorfer, the skilled bartender from Yacht Club, Ian Palazzola, the talented chef from Frasca Food and Wine, and Michael Diaz de Leon, who recently departed Denver’s Brutø in December.

Rosewood Mayakoba’s Social Media Success: Engaging Content & Relaxed Chefs

Tom Puntel, Rosewood Mayakoba’s Director of Sales and Marketing, says the programming drives demand and social community participation. The substance is excellent, he says. And they benefit each other. These culinary professionals deserve a break. In a luxurious setting, they are more available to guests than in their kitchen. People seem to like that, he says.

Some cooks take a break from restaurant management in this bright new environment. Ari Miller requires it for security. After his beloved Philadelphia eatery Musi BYOB closed, Miller became chef at Ivan Ramen in New York. Unfortunately, this initiative ceased last year. “In the end, it’s necessary to cover your rent and provide for your sustenance,” adds. Recent events required him to swiftly find another restaurant.

A summary of his achievements: His hobbies include private cheffing for athletes and HNWIs, writing a Substack, making viral films, and traveling with his wife, Kiki Aranita. The skilled ex-restaurant chef-owner Kiki is also a writer and fabric artist.

“It’s quite a privilege to not have a conventional job and still manage to function while searching for a new space, but the level of effort required is just as intense as running a restaurant,” Miller says. And it frequently comes with the mixed emotions of joy and frustration that come with constantly cooking in various kitchens with different equipment.

“Expressing a particular dish goes beyond the ingredients used,” he remarks. “One must embrace the challenge of showcasing their culinary skills within the limitations of a nonprofessional range, near a sensitive smoke detector, and with minimal counter space, all without the luxury of a deep-fryer.” Trying to cook with the illusion of professional results in a nonprofessional kitchen can be both frustrating and satisfying.

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Pop-Up Success: How One Chef is Thriving in the World of Roaming Restaurants

Even in a professional kitchen, this can be true at times. “It’s just me, two induction burners, and a cutting board. No dishwasher, no prep,” says Jay Wolman, one of our 20 Chefs to Watch in 2024. He shares this from London, where he is about to finish his month-long stint at the cozy wine bar 107 (formerly P. Franco), following his stops in Brooklyn, Marseille, and Brussels. “I thrive on pushing boundaries and find that these limitations fuel my creativity.”

Wolman’s nomadic restaurant is named Intermission, which the Houston-born, Miami-raised chef describes as a fitting name due to its unpredictable duration. Despite not having any gastronomic stars or medals (yet), his success is a clear indication that this trend is happening across the board. Anyone can do this, and it will still be relevant and interesting to people.

They appear interested. East Londoners came to 107 for Wolman’s superb food. Wolman’s signature flair was evident in the red mullet with pink-fir and prawn-head aioli, Irish oysters with forced rhubarb, and bay-leaf panna cotta. Renee Erickson of Seattle called Wolman’s food “gorgeous, simple, and ingredient- and location-focused,” naming him a “Chef to Watch.” “I really appreciate his passion for exploring new places and gaining knowledge, all while creating mouthwatering dishes,” he said.

“Residencies are the future,” Wolman stated during his “Chefs to Watch” Q&A. Great chefs are no longer required to be affiliated with a restaurant to stay occupied. I adore the concept of immersing oneself in a particular moment, crafting a lasting memory for oneself and those around you, and then gracefully transitioning to the next one. Now, in New York, he’s having discussions with Erickson and Chad Robertson of Tartine in San Francisco about upcoming Intermission events. “Then,” he says, “who knows?”

About Antonia Read

Antonia Read is a seasoned author specializing in the world of startups. With a keen interest in entrepreneurship and innovation, she has become a prominent voice in the field. Antonia's insightful writings offer valuable insights into the challenges and successes of startup ventures. Her expertise and dedication to the subject have earned her a reputation as a go-to resource for aspiring entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts alike.