Enrique Olvera’s Culinary Evolution

Enfrijolada with ricotta, hoja santa, creme fraiche, and onion
Enfrijolada with ricotta, hoja santa, creme fraiche, and onion fiamma piacentini

One key to Cosme’s success is that many of the staff came with Chef Enrique Olvera from his restaurant in Mexico City.

Owner: Chef Enrique Olvera, Santiago Gomez, Alonso De Garay, and Santiago Perez
Location: New York City
Description: Mexican flavors translated into contemporary cuisine that highlights local and seasonal ingredients from the Hudson Valley, all served in a polished, high-end setting.
Opened: September 2014

Located in New York City’s trendy Flatiron District, Cosme is earning raves for celebrated chef Enrique Olvera’s creative dishes rooted in Mexican flavors that also showcase local and seasonal ingredients from the Hudson Valley.

Opened in September of 2014, Cosme was a finalist for James Beard: Best New Restaurant this year and follows Chef Olvera’s first venture—Pujol—his highly acclaimed restaurant in Mexico City, which opened 15 years ago.

“The cooking at Cosme shows my personal evolution as a cook,” says Chef Olvera, a 1999 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. “My roots are in Mexican cuisine, and those are the flavors I am comfortable with. However, I was trained in New York, which gave me the opportunity to explore different food cultures, and that has been a huge influencer.”

In a joint venture with partners Santiago Gomez, Alonso De Garay, and Santiago Perez, Chef Olvera decided to take on the challenges and competition of opening an outpost in one of the world’s most high-risk restaurant environments.

“I met Enrique in 2012 and we started talking about doing a high-end restaurant in New York City,” Gomez says. “Alonso and Santiago wanted to do something similar, so we all decided to join forces.”

Cosme was two years in development and now employs about 60 people, many of whom relocated from Mexico City, where they worked at Pujol. “A lot of the staff that works with us came from Pujol,” Gomez says. “That has been one of our key successes. They take a lot of ownership in this project. They feel like Cosme is their baby and everyone is really engaged to help make this restaurant a big hit. When you see them coming to work every day—they show up very happy.”

Cosme touts a modern décor but at the same time evokes a warm, cozy, and inviting atmosphere.

Gomez estimates 30 percent of clientele are repeat customers with most coming from the surrounding neighborhood. The restaurant also attracts a large contingent of chefs.

“We have received a huge welcome from the neighborhood and my fellow chefs,” Olvera says. “I got to know a lot of chefs in New York, and they have become frequent guests, which is so flattering.”


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