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 I was 15 and it was the first time I had been outside of Puerto Rico in winter.
We ate the spaghetti at a long farm table in the middle of the kitchen then devoured giant pears over the 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 as one of the best meals I’ve ever had. They were the most delicious 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 wine macerated peaches. The whole meal felt like we had eaten summer. Yes, the ingredients were 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.