>>Cruz Nieves knows about sacrifice: it comes in two forms, one form like the literal heart wrenching scene in Temple of Doom, and one form in the more ordinary sense, a sacrifice of one’s time. Nieves has sacrificed his time and more to create a unique dining experience at the authentic-to-the-bone Rella.
The authenticity at Rella comes from a place of passion, not from following tradition of any one cuisine. “I don’t do anything half-assed,” says Nieves. Indeed, as I walked from my car to the front door of the restaurant, he came running up, snow covering his black athletic wear. “And after I’m done with you, I am going to continue to run,” he said with a big smile. As I discovered over the next hour, this is who Cruz Nieves is.
Rella is a chef-driven restaurant. There are no servers or bartenders per se; Nieves and his sous chef wear all the hats by cooking, taking orders, serving drinks, and offering genuine hospitality. “I’m a people person,” said Nieves. “There is no person to better explain the food than the people who made it.” In this case it is a crew of three: Cruz, his sous, and his dishwasher, nicknamed “Señor Feliz” because of the positive attitude he brings to the kitchen. “Attitude is not something you can teach,” posited Nieves, referring to Señor Feliz. He recalled a time working in New York when both he and his station partner were written up by the chef because their poor attitude set the stage for a shitty service. Continue Reading<<
Tune in This Sunday, May 24th at 11AM - EST for a live stream cooking lesson with Chef Cruz himself for Floated Sofa Sound Live Stream Fundraising Festival.
Listed below are the ingredients needed to follow along:
Poster by: Rachel Coutant