Back in December, the Argentinian Executive Pastry Chef of the Grand Hyatt in NYC, Gonzalo Jimenez, launched a one-man operation; a line of specialty chocolates, each hand-made by the chef himself. Surprising to no one, it was a hit, and the now successful chocolate line, which includes truffles, chocolate bars, and chocolate-covered fruits speckled with complemetary flavors like passion fruit, citrus and coffee, all of which highlight the quality and depth of the chocolate, sells exclusively at the Hyatt New York’s Market at Grand Central.
It's clear then, that Chef Jimenez is the go-to guy for all things Valentine's Day and chocolate-related. When he advises bucking the rules of wine pairing and ending your February 14th date night with strawberries dipped in chocolate, take note.
As for the restaurant within the Hyatt, New York Central, it serves several of Chef Jimenez’s signature desserts: Chocolate Cake with a Tahitian Vanilla Milkshake; Chocolate Custard served with Bitter Ganache and Crunchy Meringues; and Apple Pie in a Jar served with Cinnamon Streusel. Ideally located and with so many sweet treats on offer, its a great date night option. But, the chef concedes, it's not the only one. "The cool thing about NY is that there are so many hole-in-the-walls that are just as great [as more expensive restaurants] and so accessible”, he says. In a recent interview with The Latin Kitchen, the chef offered up some big tips for exploring smaller and lesser known eateries.
To start, he recommends all New Yorkers visit Uva, a small, relaxed spot he insists serves some of the best Italian food he’s ever eaten. Considering Jimenez's upbringing in a country comprised primarily of European immigrants, his endorsement is exceptionally high praise. If a more romantic atmosphere is what you seek, Jimenez advocates for One if by Land, Two if by Sea, with it’s dim lights and arched windows.
Next up, Gonzalo's Valentine's dessert tips and the next big food trend!...