Chef Jennifer Cole has quickly become a good friend. When I met her and listened to her talk about her passion for food and food history, I was hooked. Then, I ate her food. It was all over for me. Chef Cole takes pride in her culinary expertise and specializes in Spanish cuisine with a focus on the Basque and Catalan regions; but she is well versed in all Mediterranean cuisine (and makes some killer Southern food). Her grace, knowledge and leadership in the kitchen paved the way for greater things that one would only dream of. Chef Cole’s 19 years of culinary experience is shown through the long pages of affiliations she has been linked to and the impressions she leaves with each of her dishes. I asked Chef Cole if she would take the time to do a series of guest posts to educate us on what true Spanish cuisine is. But before we get down and dirty with Jennifer, here’s a little info to whet your appetite.
Chef Cole did some stints as a cook in Indigo Coastal Grill from 1991-1993 and worked as an apprentice under the great Chef Heinz Schwab in Hedge Rose Heights Inn from 1992-1993, a restaurant which specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine. Moving forward, she went back and became a Sous Chef at The Hedge Rose Heights Inn from 1993-1994. Chef Cole also worked at Bayona in New Orleans as a Pastry Chef with Susan Spicer, co-owner and a James Beard Awardee in the years 1994-1996 before she migrated and continued her practice in Europe.
Her decade of Spanish culinary experience really molded her amazing talent in the kitchen. She was a Chef and co-owner of Cornucopia restaurant in Madrid, specializing in European cuisines and American fusion, creating delectable extraordinary dishes including breads and desserts. After a few years, she started roaming around the country to enhance and broaden her knowledge and strengthen her expertise on dishes from different Spanish regions. When she made her way in Paris, she worked on further honing her skill in creating Basque cuisines, having to work with Basque Cuisine specialists and Michelin star winners Juan Mari Arzak in San Sebastian and Frances Paniego in La Rioja and worked as Sous Chef in La Truffière in Paris, France.
After 18 months of working in Paris, she returned to Madrid and became Chef de Cuisine at Balzac for Andres Madrigal, a winner of 2 Michelin stars for a year and a half. In 2005, she collaborated with chef, Jean-Paul Vinay, head chef of Hotel La Costa (a 4-star, Luxury hotel in Girona, Spain) before she went on to work as a head chef at ENE, from 2005 to 2007. It was at this time that she was named by a leading newspaper in Spain as the “Best Female Chef” in Madrid. With her culinary accomplishment and experiences, she proceeded to become a gastronomic chef and was responsible for leading the opening of the 5-star high-rise hotel, Eurostars Madrid Tower. This was in October 2008 to February 2009.
She is currently a Gastronomic Consultant for Madrid, Spain and New York, New York. While doing all these work, she is also the head chef of New York’s Taberna restaurant where she creates delectable authentic Spanish cuisines that local and foreign visitors zealously enjoy eating.
Her love and passion for cooking is never-ending – no pots or pans are big enough for her that she cannot hurdle without success. According to her, “Food is an expression of the life of all of us. from the time that I was a kid with my grandmother in the mountains of NC, eating vegetables from our garden to working with farmers in Spain and France I learned the most important thing is the absolute joy of sharing good food”.
Chef Cole’s posts on Spanish Cuisine will be posting daily for the week. We’ll link out to them as they post.
If you are hungry for Chef Cole’s cooking, head to Ethos located at 905 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Read related articles from Chef Jennifer Cole
Want to make Chef Cole’s dishes? Check out the video below.