Their shopping list sounds like the beginning of a bad ethnic joke. Ingredients for pastrami and dill pickle croquetas, matzoh ball albondiga soup, brisket with horseradish pozole, and kasha congrí. And those are just the savory dishes. It gets even better in the sweets section, which features churros crusted with poppy and sesame seeds and served with "gelt melt."
These are just some of the dishes that will be featured by tag team Roberto Treviño and Eric Greenspan at their Latin-Jewish pop-up, El Ñosh, coming to New York October 17-20.
A Latin-Jewish pop-up? How did that happen? Treviño explains to TLK that he and Greenspan began chatting about their passion for their respective cultures' culinary traditions when they met on the set of Food Network's The Next Iron Chef. Both were contestants in the show's second season, which aired in 2009. They kept in touch after they were eliminated from the competition; “slowly, over the years,” Treviño says, “we finally decided to do a fusion deli/restaurant.” And thus, El Ñosh, whose cultural and culinary hybridity extends even to its ultra-clever name, was born.
Treviño lives in Puerto Rico, where he owns and operates five restaurants, including the first Puerto Rican outpost of Rosa Mexicano, slated to open by the end of 2013. Greenspan lives in Los Angeles, where he is chef and executive owner of The Foundry on Melrose, The Roof on Wilshire, and soon-to-open Greenspan's Grilled Cheese. Given that both chefs are incredibly busy, the road-show style pop-up format of El Ñosh fits their lifestyle. It also allows the Latin-Jewish concept to stay novel and to reach a wider, more diverse audience than a brick and mortar restaurant... though the appeal of eventually hanging out their own shingle is something the duo is definitely considering.
El Ñosh was piloted in Miami and San Juan before Treviño and Greenspan made a plan to land in New York for their three-nights-only event. The chefs will cook up salami tamales, arroz con pollo knishes, and a host of other Latin-Jewish fusion plates at The Line Group’s Malt N Mash space at 55 Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District. Given its time-limited run, three dinners and one Sunday brunch, reservations will be necessary for those who plan to ñoshear on Treviño's and Greenspan's creations. In addition to the food menu, Rums of Puerto Rico will be featuring a rum mixology bar. And of course, what's a Puerto Rican Jewish party without some live music?
Once the chefs close the door on their New York pop-up, they'll head west to introduce El Ñosh food trucks to Los Angeles and San Francisco. From there, who knows where they might go? “I really would love to see some brick and mortar versions of El Ñosh from coast to coast,” says Treviño, who even confided to TLK that he's keen to open a restaurant in New York. “We started El Ñosh out of a love of cooking great and wild foods,” he says. “If it can make some money, then even better, but what we want most is to cook, have fun, and turn people on to what we do with food and far-out ideas.”