Chefs

Chef Claudio Bravo, Garcia's Seafood-Cooking Carnivore

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Did you go to culinary school?


C.B.: In Cuba. Spanish hotels had schools in Cuba. In Cuba we prepared a lot of seafood and Spanish cuisine.

Like?

C.B.: We prepared a lot of ceviches, mussels, sea bass...

Did you create the menu then?

L.G.: We have this really very basic, simple menu. I do all my talking at the table. I listen to the customer. What they want is what we make. If a customer tells me, 'I'm just here from Boston and I was really craving whatever,' I'll go to him and say, can you concoct something? We use our resources, what's seasonal, what's fresh.

C.B.: We have a lot of communication. When they catch another fish I have to use that.

What's the craziest thing you've had to make here?

C.B.: Sea urchin. [A customer] wanted the roe so I mixed it with onion and sautéed it with cream, white wine, and cognac.

Was urchin on your menu?

C.B.: They brought it in.

L.G.: My dad's policy was 'Why not?' If you call and tell me, 'I'm coming in with 15 urchins,' I'll talk to Claudio. We're gonna make it happen. We have fishing boats pull up here on the river and say, 'We caught 17 dolphin [mahi-mahi]. Can you cook it?' If we're not too busy we'll make it work.

Which fish gets your creative juices flowing?

L.G.: Every now and then [purveyors] will bring us top-of-the-line, Asian market tuna. [Claudio's] eyes are popping out!

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