Prior to launching Day into Night, I was the pastry chef at M. Wells, a Michelin-starred avant-garde steakhouse in New York. I’ve lived and cooked in New York, California, Italy, and France. My style is highly influenced by those kitchens as well as my childhood in Puerto Rico and my Spanish grandmother’s cooking. All the kitchens I have worked in had great relationships with farmer’s and local purveyors, and placed great importance on seasonality and quality. For me this is very important as well.
ABOUT DAY INTO NIGHT
What are your most memorable meals?
One of the first that comes to mind for me is a plate of spaghetti with olive oil, dry basil, and parmesan (probably from a green can) cooked with my friend Zach at his house in Philadelphia. Not so spectacular, except it was the first time I had ever been outside of Puerto Rico in winter and I was 15. We ate the spaghetti at a long farm table in the middle of the kitchen then devoured giant pears over the kitchen sink.
Almost 30 years later I still remember that meal- how exotic it felt to be wearing a sweater, how much I loved hanging out with my friend, and how magnificent it felt to eat a meal we had cooked ourselves.
Since then I’ve had slightly more epicurean meals that remain memorable years later- a giant pot of mussels devoured one summer in Puglia often comes to mind. Their meat so salty from, I imagine, their time in the Adriatic sea. Those were the best mussels I’ve ever eaten, no question. But part of their deliciousness was also the conversation around the table, the flowing wine, and eating them with my fingers in a sun dress with my shoes kicked off. After dinner we ate cinnamon gelato and juicy peaches and it felt like I was eating summer. Yes, the ingredients where absolutely perfect but part of a great meal is also where and who we eat with. More often than not that tends to be, at least for me, at someone’s home table.
With this in mind I founded day into night. My goal is to create the most elegant, relaxed, delicious meals that you and your guests still talk about years later.