Marc Vidal fits every definition of a ‘Hot Chef.’ The man behind both locations of Boqueria came to New York from his hometown of Barcelona to seduce the city with Spanish tapas.
What sparked your interest in cooking?
Growing up, my family owned a small restaurant outside of Barcelona. My grandmother was the chef, and we only offered breakfast and dinner. Everyone had a part in the restaurant – I did every job, from washing dishes to helping her prep. To be honest, I wasn't the best student in school, and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my future. I decided to go to culinary school, and once I did, I fell in love with cooking.
Why is cooking tapas special to you?
Personally, it's more fun to work in a tapas restaurant. It's a more relaxed environment, more casual food, and I get the chance to cook a wider range of dishes since we create menus of various small plates.
What are some of your favorite things to cook off the Boqueria menu and why?
At Boqueria, we offer a traditional menu, which has all of the classic tapas dishes that you would find at any tapas bar in Spain. We also offer the "Carta de Dia," or Market Menu, which has my favorite dishes. Since the Market Menu rotates weekly or bi-weekly based on whatever local and seasonal ingredients we find at the farmer's market, I get to create my own dishes and come up with things that rotate every week.
Do you cook for yourself at home when you're not working?
I usually only cook at home when I invite friends over. I recently purchased a barbecue to grill on my roof, and am looking forward to grilling up different types of meats and seasonal vegetables this summer.
Is there something in particular about NYC that you enjoy as a chef?
New York City is different than any other city in the world that I've been to. There are so many great restaurants and varying cultures and cuisines to experience and become inspired by. It's hard to find that in other cities.
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