FOX San Antonio - The Valdes View
By: Michael Valdes
It's a Sunday night and a group of talented San Antonio chefs have come together to do what they do best. But in a way they never get to do it.
"You could be a cook all your life and never get to do your own thing. So we wanted to show people in town things they had never seen before," says Chef Diego Galicia. "Nitrogen and smoke and really crazy things. We just want to blow people away. I want them to go home saying, what just happened."
They call themselves the Texas Cooks Co-Op and they log plenty of hours in other kitchens. Galicia names just a few. "We have Rico from Rico Caters his own catering company. We have Danny who works at Laurent's Modern Cuisine. We have Jackie, she is working at Sandbar. We have Lou. He is the Sous Chef at Bella on the Riverwalk. We have Ed... He is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army on the culinary team. Yeah, so we have some awesome people here."
Now, once a month, they use that experience to put together a dinner that they consider an experience for the guest.
A chance to show off lessons learned at some of the best restaurants in the country. "I try to utilize everything I learn in whatever kitchen I have been in and prove it to myself that I can do it," says Jacqueline Montalvo. Chef Luis Colon adds, "For us, we don't get to pick leaves like this. All this is edible stuff, red sea shell. You don't find this stuff around town. I gotta get this from Ohio. It's just working with new ingredients. Trying to expand myself so I can learn."
The dinner itself travels from restaurant to restaurant. Thanks to executive chefs willing to let the Co-Op take advantage of a closed night. A gift that can be it's own challenge. "For example, you go to somebody's house and decide to make guacamole or whatever," says Colon. "You don't know where the bowls are. You don't know where the plates are. So you just kind of figure out your way."
Then there is the challenge that comes with leaving the kitchen itself. Each chef has to present their culinary creations to a normally sold out crowd. "We are the guys in the back," says Colon. "We are not the executive chef. We don't get out there and talk to people. But once we did it, once we did it a couple of times. I mean, you are comfortable with your own food."
It's a different kind of moment that could one day lead to the best moment of a young chef's life. "We all want our own brick and mortar," says Colon. "So I think this is another outlet for somebody to say, hey, I had Luis's food, maybe why not give him a chance. Why not invest some money in him."
But for now, the group is enjoying it's chance to break out of their own shell and let local food lovers break out of theirs.
"We sell out in a matter of hours," says Galicia. "People know on our Facebook and our Twitter page that we are going to have a dinner and we just sell out. They are craving this type of food. They are craving this type of experience."
Tuesday, December 4 2012, 09:29 PM CST
The Valdes View Blog
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