Navigating Diverse Food Scenes and Elevating Kitchen Culture

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From new technologies and changing food trends to supply chains and innovative concepts, the restaurant industry is everchanging. Host Andre Natera shares kitchens, plates and stories with food and beverage superstars, preparing a new dish and offering valuable insights from the front lines of the culinary industry.

 

 

A chef’s journey can take many twists and turns—such is the story of Alan Delgado, a native of El Paso and, until recently, a big name in the Austin food community. He worked at many notable Austin hotspots, including Comedor. Host Andre Natera welcomed his friend and fellow Texan to Run the Pass to talk about what he’s doing now after moving to New York. Delgado is currently the Director of Recipe and Development of Brooklyn’s Michelin-starred Oxomoco.

On the differences between Austin and New York food scenes, Delgado said, “It’s more diverse in New York.”

That variety is also pushing a new vegan concept. Although, Delgado uses the term “plant-forward” because “people are more willing to try it.”

“We’re asking ourselves questions now, like ‘Am I being the best version of myself?’” – Alan Delgado

Mexican food does lend itself to vegan options, but Delgado and Natera talked about the variations in the cuisine. “It’s a big country. Each area has different ingredients and different climates. People travel to one spot and think that’s what everyone eats.”

In addition to being plant-driven, his new restaurant focuses a lot on sustainability. “How much waste you produce impacts the planet, but it’s in its early stages of eliminating plastic and paper.”

That holistic approach to menus and food is also impacting kitchen culture. Delgado said the last year, there have been more conversations about mental health and creating a better balance. “We’re asking ourselves questions now, like ‘Am I being the best version of myself?’”

He took that sentiment to hiring new chefs, saying he cares more about getting to know the person than their resume. “I ask questions to get insight on who they are and how they react to stressful situations. I want the right people with the right mentality.”

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