By: Cecilia Morales
Star Wars heart throb Diego Luna and Mexican pop singer Thalía are both fans of Chef Gonzalo Colin, who is the executive chef at Cantina Rooftop at 605 W 48th St. When it comes to cuisine, the flavors of a home-cooked meal are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. Cantina Rooftop’s Executive Chef Gonzalo takes the idea of a good home-cooked meal to a new level. With his impressive culinary background and Mexican roots, Colin brings a whole new meaning to the term “Fine Dining.” September brings the news that, due to customer demand, Cantina Roof Top will be open all year around, including all the major holidays.
THE SEARCH FOR NEW DISHES
Although a native of Mexico City, Colin spent a year traveling to cities and villages in Mexico to bring back the best recipes and dishes to Cantina. “ I was searching for various ways of cooking, using all local herbs and the different techniques that each valley prides itself in,” he said. “From the southern-most part of Mexico to the northern part, the flavors change but are only 1% of what Mexico has to share. “
While these flavors and techniques helped him create a delectable menu, Colin’s culinary inspiration stems from his childhood. “My cooking is part of the love and respect I have of my Mexican roots,” he said. “ I had the privilege of growing up with great cooks, my Abuela Goya and my Mother Sabina as well as my father. I learned from them and tried all types of Mexican cuisine. However, Colin’s incorporation of other cooking styles is what gives his Mexican-American fusion menu its edge. “At 16, I started learning the French and Mediterranean techniques working under Chef Scott Bryan. These two experiences are the reason for the creativity and uniqueness of my food at Cantina. This sets my kitchen apart from all the others.”
STAR STUDDED SPACE
Cantina Rooftop includes a climate controlled retractable rooftop and offers a selection of ceviche and tostadas in addition to the restaurant’s signature dish, Lubina Chilena Al Pibil (Chilean Sea bass) and Pollo Campestre (free range chicken) with Mole Negro. They’ll keep things fresh with their new fall and winter menus launching this month. Colin hopes his restaurant’s Mexican-based cooking and refined style will keep discerning dinners coming back. The space has already attracted Keith Urban, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alicia Keys, Cynthia Nixon and P. Diddy.
“Now more than ever, Mexican cuisine is recognized as one of the top cuisines in the world,” said Chef Gonzalo “New York is a city of authenticity and innovation so we are bringing that same authenticity with modern Mexican cuisine to our clients.” As to the décor, he explains, “ More people are traveling to Mexico and experiencing its authentic flavors, and I want them to feel that Cantina is a part of this rich Mexican tradition.”
Behind the scenes Colin lives a fast paced life “The adrenaline and the challenges that each kitchen gives has no price,” he said. “Working with different menus, cooking fresh products, creating new menus which are unique to every restaurant, helped to shape my style. Learning to please my guests, as a chef is paramount for me. Doing what I love and executing it well, provides me with an indescribable satisfaction.”
Cantinarooftop.com | (212) 957-1700