• Share

A Mexican-Jewish Thanksgivukkah

For the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah fall on the same day, November 28. Would-be revelers who miss the fun can celebrate it next time it occurs, assuming they’re around in another 70,000-plus years!

Chefs Robert Treviño and Eric Greenspan can’t wait. Treviño, a Food Network veteran who has graced the pages of The New York Times, Gourmet and Bon Appétit, heads many of Puerto Rico’s most lauded restaurants, including his flagship Budatai (Latin-Asian), Bar Gitano (Spanish), El Barril (a local watering hole), Casa Lola (cocina criolla, a Puerto Rican meld of Spanish and other influences), plus an upcoming branch of Rosa Mexicano.

Greenspan is currently refiguring The Foundry (Condé Nast Traveler’s ‘Best New Restaurant in America’ 2007), which he opened at the onset of the economic downturn. Against all odds, it was a smash because of Greenspan’s efforts behind the scenes. “It made me flexible and malleable,” he says. “I had to come up with out-of-box concepts.” And he did, applying his high-end background (Le Cordon Bleu, chefs Ferran Adria, Alain Ducasse, et al) to “making food for my most important diners — people who really love food.”

Along the way he devised his now-iconic pancake lasagna and won the 2008 Grilled Cheese Invitational, which led to the upcoming Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese restaurant. The lasagna and the award-winning Wilshire Grilled Cheese are both on the menu at The Roof, a poolside restaurant at Kimpton’s boutique Wilshire Hotel. In keeping with Kimpton’s practice of offering outstanding dining experiences, the food rivals the panoramic view.

Robert "The Knish" Treviño and Eric “El Toro” Greenspan met as contestants on TV’s "Next Iron Chef America." Their bromance began when Roberto said, “Let me see your arms” and Eric rolled up his sleeves, exposing a ragged procession of fresh cuts and burns. “That’s how you know a real chef,” says Roberto, to whom Eric is “like a brother.”  The admiration goes both ways. “There’s so much ego and deceit in this business,” says Eric, “but Roberto is a true, honest guy. The enormous trust and respect we have for each other is why we can work together so closely even though we are thousands of miles apart.”

Their first chance to put that comaraderie into play came during Miami’s South Beach Food and Wine Festival. “We wanted to cook together,” says Roberto, and we thought Miami’s mix of Jewish and Latin cultures made it the perfect place to start.” So they pulled together the concept, a venue and sponsors and El Ñosh was born. “The concept may be outrageous,” says, Eric, “but we take our cooking seriously." 

Next, the pop up turns into a food truck...

Leave a comment