The dinner is part of our Chef’s Lab collaboration with Industry City where each dinner highlights one of our favorite local chefs. Each chef takes diners on a multi-course culinary journey of a specific region of their choosing, a cocktail hour and wine pairings included.
Raij is the author of The Basque Book: A Love Story in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito and one half of the wife and husband team behind Txikito, one of New York’s most authentic Basque restaurants; El Quinto Pino, named the “Absolute Best Tapas in New York” by New York Magazine; and the Michelin-starred La Vara. Along with her husband Eder Montero, Raij is a multiple-time semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef New York City” award.
We recently spoke with this powerhouse about the menu for her upcoming pop-up dinner:
Edible Brooklyn: Tell us what we can expect from the Industry City dinner and what are you excited to showcase?
Alex Raij: I love the area and often come around to shop and explore Sunset Park, so it’s fun to show the market what we do and help activate the area at the same time.
EB: What’s the inspiration for the Industry City menu?
AJ: Ferias de Abril! I wanted to celebrate Andalucía’s special gift for welcoming spring with food and wine and music.
EB: The pop-up dinner at Industry City is a culinary journey through Andalucía. What sets Andalucía apart in terms of cuisine?
AJ: The south of Spain is a region called Andalucía and its traditions are broadly represented at La Vara. There spring and Easter mean ferias, or festivals, and outdoor meals and the first sacas of sherry. Expect flavors of smokey cumin and paprika, citrus, and olives on any Andalucian menu.
EB: Where are you sourcing the ingredients for the dinner from?
AJ: We take pride in using a variety of purveyors local and imported. We are excited to have some items from Industry City proper.
EB: What else are you working on this spring?
AJ: I’m working on my fish game because I think people are increasingly committed to eating healthily and fish can represent seasonality and location just as well as the garden.