Alex Stupak has redefined Mexican cuisine at his new West Village restaurant Empellon – but it doesn’t stop there. Chef Stupak sits down with The New Potato to talk about his second restaurant, Empellon Cocina (recently opened in the East Village) as well as his plan to bring Tlayudas to Manhattan…
What’s your drink?
Either a gin and tonic or mezcal neat.
What would your last meal be?
Thanksgiving with my family.
How do you start your day?
I try to eat breakfast and go for a run. It doesn’t always work out and if I skip a run in the morning, I punish myself and do one very late at night. I’ve been trying to eat healthy in the morning due to the onslaught of tacos I consume for the rest of the day. I like to get to work early and catch up on emails before my cooks arrive. I also walk through the restaurant and note mistakes that need to be addressed.
Favorite place to travel for food?
Oaxaca. Oaxaca has its own techniques, ingredients and thought processes. My first visit there is what tipped me over the edge and compelled me to make Mexican cooking my new focus.
What ingredient do you consider overrated?
Anything organic. Dont get me wrong I have no problem with organic products but just because something is produced organically, it doesnt make it good.
What ingredient are you convinced makes everything better?
Besides the most obvious one….salt? It would have to be chiles. Food just doesnt taste right without heat for me any longer.
Your afternoon snack…
Red Bull and refried beans rolled around a tortilla.