The Explorer: Javier Flores


Illustration by Jeremiah Teutsch

What’s on the horizon for you?
Once Barraca gets stable enough, I’ll be bringing back Cheeks & Chops Food Truck and I’m excited to work on the next project. Maybe Mexican or maybe Asian? Maybe I’ll take some time off before that gets started.

What advice do you have for us home cooks?
If you crave it, do it. There is no right or wrong way of cooking. There is nothing to be afraid, you may get discouraged, so keep it simple and have fun with it. Just don’t cut yourself or get burnt. If you are a hazardous cook, keep children away from the kitchen. Now, if the results are not what you expect, go out, and have a family date.

The table of five that comes in 23 minutes before closing–what are you muttering under your breath?
FANTASTIC! Honestly, I’m glad they came in, but I assure you that the cooks might be having … tantrums—some, not all.

What chef leaves you starstruck? Who is your food idol?
Starstruck: I have several; Morimoto, David Chang, Batali and Michael Symon. Idol: Gotta go with Anthony Bourdain.

I’ve found most people don’t really understand what tapas are. How do you describe tapas?
It is an appetizer dish that can be hot or cold. It is a shareable portion or for a single serving. In a nutshell, it is bar food, with quality ingredients.

How many people a week come in expecting topless instead of tapas?
(Laughs) I don’t think I have an accent, but when I get asked, they sometimes understand ‘topless.’ It cracks me up. I just respond with, “I wish.”

Recipe: Entomatadas

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