Spanish-born Chef Jose Andres is a lot of things: chef, restaurateur, author, entrepreneur, Hispanic Heritage Award winner, and now, American. He became a citizen in December, following more than 23 years living in the U.S. (which means yesterday was his first 4th of July celebrated as an American - congratulations, Chef!).
We caught up with Andres at the recent Aspen Food and Wine Classic, an annual culinary event that is to the food world what Cannes is to film. In addition to hosting the event’s opening night party, Andres executed a lively demonstration that showed off his natural showmanship and reminded festival attendees that the joy of cooking is…well, the joy of cooking.
Below are cooking tips, anecdotes, chistes, and notable insights from Andres’ “Tapas and Technology” cooking demo.
On "fast food" and being Latino
Andres prepared ten tapas in 45 minutes. Yes, you read that right: ten tapas in 45 minutes! Anyone who has ever prepared a meal in a rush knows this is no easy feat. Highlights included: roasted tomato bread with manchego and olive oil; olives stuffed with piquillo peppers and anchovies; watermelon cubes with tomato seeds; gazpacho; and blackened peppers with goat cheese.
Of the inspiration for the quick fire cooking, Andres described a scenario wherein you get a call from a friend who says he and his eight family members will come to your house in 45 minutes. “Obviously,” he joked, “this is a phone call from a Spanish or Latino friend.” Later in the demo (and running a bit behind), he added “Your guests are Latino, so don’t worry. They’ll be late.”
On love and romance
Andres’ humor was on full display as he exaggerated his philosophy that food is a living thing by also assigning ingredients dreams and desires. While preparing the watermelon with tomato seeds, he donned a bedroom voice and said the two had been waiting to be together all their lives: “It’s an affair like Romeo and Juliet.” Of the olives, he said they are happy to be stuffed with the piquillo peppers: “They have been alone all their lives.”