New Americana and International cuisine with Latino Influences. Seasonal and Organic, yet unpretentious with a bit of ingenuity, passion, and creativity. Food that has a story attached to it. Food that brings people together and sparks up a memorable experience. If it is on the cover of the latest Bon Appetite or Food and Wine, I am plating and serving it right to you, specialty cocktail on the side. ;)
I was born and raised in New York City by a first generation Ecuadorian father and a second generation Puerto Rican mother. There was always tons of flavor and sazon pouring out of the Herrera-Figueroa kitchen. Mom would always make a regular Tuesday night dinner an elaborate event. She would whip up corn beef and hash with soda bread and green beer on St. Patrick’s day. She would then make tacos and tamales with hibiscus flower juice on Cinco De Mayo with Ana Gabriel playing in the background. This early emphasis on my palate truly shaped my future in food.
My professional culinary career at 17. Working under the supervision of Chef Alex Garcia of Calle Ocho in NYC, I was fortunate to have such After graduating high school and studying abroad in college I was exposed to organic and very exotic foods for the first time; something that was not as available in NYC markets at that time. With this eye opening experience I then followed my heart and moved to Hyde Park, NY and studied Culinary Arts in The Culinary Institute of America . Simultaneously I began my first internship position under my Mentor and Godfather figure, Chef Aaron Sanchez at Centrico restaurant. It was my first hand experience in a NYC restaurant kitchen and I absolutely loved it. I grew up rapidly in the kitchen cooking during NYC restaurant weeks, all holidays and working all the lines imaginable including front of the house. On my time off from school and the restuarant I would assist my mentor in cooking demonstrations and celebrity Chef charity events till the present. From then on, there was nothing in this world that could get me out of the kitchen. So being the Jenny that I am, I asked Chef Aaron if he knew of any Chefs or restaurants in NYC that could use an extra hand in order for me to continue expanding and honing on my skill set. He told me to write up a list of Chefs and restaurants that I had an interest in. Then he picked up the phone and called "Dad."
I met "Dad," or Chef Jonathan Waxman the next morning, bright and early. Upon meeting, his energy was so warm and inviting that even if you did not know who he was, you knew you were standing in front of some great legend. After being disected by Chef Waxman, I carried on and began my stage and next thing you know, I was working all the lines as well and assisting him at his events. My passion, dedication, and perseverance for my work and craft then lead me to networking opportunities in internship positions in Jean Georges restaurant underneath Chef Johnny Iuzzini, Falai Panetteria under Chef Iacopo Falai--as well as an internship position to Mexican food authority and mother of Chef Aaron Sanchez, Zarela Martinez of Zarela restaurant.
When I am not cooking, teaching, over seeing my business or networking in Chef/food related events around the country; I'm working in my test kitchen researching and testing new recipes and latest food related anything like the good Chef Nerd that I am. :D
Infused sea salts, Blue agave nectar and Dark Chocolate
Spain Inspired menu
*Queso y hamon-Chesse and charcuterie board with Manchego, Mahón and Valdeón cheese, Chorizo, hamon serrano and Iberrico quince paste, pastachio, figs
*Pisto Manchego- Spanish ratatouille over grilled garlic crostinis
*Tortilla espanola - Spanish egg and w/ shaved manchego chesse and a drizzle of black truffle oil
*Dátiles con Beicon-Dates stuffed with almonds and Valdeón, wrapped in bacon
*Espinacas a la Catalana-Sautéed spinach, garbanzos, pine nuts, garlic, raisins
*mariscada a la parilla-Abarino Grilled razor clams and prawns
*Chuletillas-Grilled tempranillo grape rubbed baby lamb chops
*Patatas Bravas-Crispy potatoes, salsa brava, roasted garlic allioli
*Buñuelos de Bacalao-Salt-cod and potato fritters, citrus allioli
*Albóndigas-Lamb meatballs, tomato sauce, sheep’s milk cheese
*Txipirones-Baby squid a la plancha, frisée, romesco vinaigrette, tomato confit, crispy scallions
*Paella de Mariscos-Bomba rice, monkfish, sepia, squid,shrimp, clams, mussels, saffron
*Asparagos a la plancha= grilled asparagus w/ fried shallots and a limon crema
*Torrijas- Fried bread soaked in age Spanish wine w/ a valencia Orange saffron Gelato and a garanche pomegrante reduction
*Chocolate y olivos-ChocolateGanache cake with Olive OIl Ice Cream and balsamic black pepper Strawberries
*Churros con Chocolate-Traditional fried dough, thick hot chocolate