Tacos & Tequila is the first establishment of its kind launched in partnership with Tequila Patrón. This year, its menu received a facelift thanks to the spectacular culinary team behind the curtain at the Condado Vanderbilt restaurant.
With its Mexican-inspired menu, the tacos are still the star of the restaurant, but another star is Chef José Álvarez Collazo. Chef Álvarez graduated from the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, NY and has more than 18 years of experience in the industry. He has worked in renowned restaurants in New York City, like Ferris in the Made Hotel, Union Square Café and North End Grill under USHG, Danny Meyer’s company, where he managed over 35 cooks in the creation and development of an Italian and Franco-American menu. At Alder, he worked with Wylie Dufresne on molecular gastronomy technique and he also was Chef at Claro, an NYC restaurant specialized in Oaxaca cuisine which has a Michelin star. While at Buenos Aires, Argentina, he worked with the opening of NOLA Gastropub, the first Cajun restaurant in this city. And now, he adds Tacos & Tequila to this extensive resumé.
Chef Alvarez’ main inspiration is to serve, and to be able to feed many people on a daily basis. “Nothing fills me and inspires me more than seeing someone enjoying their food and having a good time.” Fresh ingredients are his main inspiration when creating the menu or new dishes, he uses whatever he finds in his surroundings since having the freshest ingredients in season, there are no limits to what you can create.
For starters, he recommends the “Aguachile”, since it is a refreshing way to open your appetite. It is a very dynamic dish, with a different experience in each bite. It is made with scallops, cucumber, serrano, radish, cilantro and avocado which gives it its texture, acidity, and of course, its spiciness.
The fresh ingredients used at Tacos & Tequila can be found on the whole menu, which includes vegetarian options as well. And they can even be found in the drinks offering, with specialty cocktails made with herbs and organic ingredients from local farmers.
Chef Álvarez arrives at the hotel early in the morning ready to tackle the day. He first discusses the events of the day with his team, and tries the salsas and get on with the mise en place. He then proceeds to verify the reservations from the day, as well as meet with the Front of House Manager to prepare for the day and week. Later, he has the line-up with all waiters to present the new items, the specials, and discuss service adjustments.
In between lunch and dinner service, the Chef holds some department meetings, and also prepares next-day orders with suppliers. After the service ends, they get ready to do it all over again the next day with a full preparation list.
Team work always comes first with the Condado Vanderbilt culinary team. Come try the Tacos & Tequila menu, you won’t want to miss this explosion of flavors. Reserve your table today!