For the second year in a row, Acapulco-born Victor Parra Gonzalez has been honored with a James Beard Award nomination.
The chef-owner of Las Puertas, 385 Rhode Island St., is a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast, one of 20 named from an area that includes New York State outside New York City, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Gonzalez’s dishes, using Mexican flavors creatively with French and Italian technique, has brought him faithful customers, and an article in the New York Times.
“This is a huge moment for all of us at the restaurant,” Gonzalez said. “Not only did we set out to cook what makes us happy but we had to learn and help other people understand what it meant for us to cook Mexican food.”
The Las Puertas crew’s current mission is to explore Mexican regional cuisines, Gonzalez said, most recently Guerrero, the state that includes Acapulco. “As we rotate through our regions of Mexico, something new and amazing brings life to us, and helps us keep pushing harder.”
He thanked his coworkers, and his customers. “We are able to cook this way thanks to the guests that come ready and willing to experience new ideas and give us their trust.”
The Beard awards, akin to the Emmys of the American hospitality industry, are administered by the James Beard Foundation.
Ellen and Steven Gedra, of The Black Sheep were honored in 2017. Mike Andrzejewski, owner of Seabar and Cantina Loco, was nominated in 2009 and 2010. The finalists will be announced March 27.
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