Chef Marc Vidal knows a thing or two about Spanish food. The Boqueria chef grew up in Barcelona working at his family’s tapas restaurant. When he turned sixteen, he enrolled in culinary school and, upon graduating, began working at some of the finest restaurants in Europe. As the executive chef for Boqueria’s five locations in New York City and Washington, DC, Marc is sharing a taste of Spain with the US with his Patatas Bravas and Paella de Montaña.
Read on to find out his favorite dish, what inspires him, and more about the Spanish DNA!
Renzell: Let’s start at the beginning. What was the first dish you learned to cook?
Chef Marc Vidal: A roasted rabbit dish with caramelized onions and potatoes. That was my mom's favorite dish; she used to make it for us on Sunday’s at home. I still get this mouth-watering feeling when I think about it.
R: Describe your ideal food day.
MV: Probably eating pintxos at el Casco Viejo of San Sebastian, the city with more Michelin star restaurants in the world per square foot. You eat in many different restaurants for the meal, the food culture in that city is just something you won’t see anywhere else.
R: What inspires you to continue to create new dishes?
MV: Boqueria, Spain and the seasonal products we find at the farmers markets here in DC and NYC. With great products is very easy to get inspired.
R: Do you have a favorite ingredient to work with?
MV: I put garlic almost everywhere! Onions and tomatoes follow closely behind.
R: Do you have a favorite dish to cook?
MV: I have a ton of favorites. Right now I’m cooking more vegetables than ever before. But I also love to cook fish and meats, stews, soups. Everything!
R: Do you ever venture outside the typical cuisine of Boqueria?
MV: At Boqueria, we have classics and other dishes with Spanish DNA. We can use ingredients or techniques from other cuisines and make them Spanish in our way. When cooking for myself or family and friends, I probably do the same.
R: How did you come up with the name of the restaurant?
MV: Boqueria is the most important market and culinary center of Barcelona. Since we wanted to make sure our guests were transported to Barcelona this was the right one. Yann de Rochefort, our owner, picked the name.
Want to experience Chef Vidal’s Spanish cuisine for yourself? Join us on Tuesday, March 7 for our first private tasting event in DC at Boqueria. Sign up here.