Fusion chefs and foreign languages

From the Baltimore Business Journal (Trevor’s strong):

Dancing shoes required for Charleston Group’s Pazo
Julekha Dash
Following months of anticipation and delays, Charleston Group restaurateurs Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman have announced the details for their latest venture, Pazo, which will debut in November.

Pazo — which means “noble house” in Catalan — will offer Mediterranean cuisine from select regions of Italy and Spain, including Sicily, Catalonia, Sardinia and Campania…

Menu items will include Neopolitan pizza, regional cheeses, grilled seafood and various small plates.

I think creative darlings Cindy and Tony fusioned this idea off Patricia Yeo, whose latest project was described in NewYorkMetro.com by Adam Platt, who one suspects spends absurd amounts of time doing unto himself as he would have others do unto him:

Among this town’s many factions of food-obsessed professionals, and the claques of well-informed diners that follow in their wake, certain chefs float above the fray, cloaked in a vague mist of invulnerability. Patricia Yeo, who opened her first Manhattan restaurant, AZ, almost three years ago, seems to have attained this bodhisattva-like status in record time.


This sense of artistic buzz hovers over the proceedings at Pazo, Yeo’s swank “Mediterranean fusion” restaurant, which opened mid-August on East 57th Street. The smallish midtown space has housed several prominent establishments over the years (most notably David Ruggerio’s Le Chantilly) and is now tastefully and theatrically appointed with glowing, pasha-style lampshades, intricately carved wood screens from Morocco, and floors made of colorfully glazed Mediterranean tile. The little leather-backed menu is chock-full of strange and mysterious-sounding combinations like pomegranate-glazed Spanish hake, and honey-flavored duck with prune gnocchi. Surveying it, a couple of my food-fanatic friends could hardly contain their glee. “Patricia’s a wonderful chemist,” whispered one. “Let’s prepare to be thrilled.”

Deep breath.

I don’t know about thrilling, but several of the dishes I sampled were pretty great Yeo and her co–executive chef, Pino Maffeo, seem to have borrowed most heavily from the Spanish end of the Mediterranean palate (pazo means “noble house” in Catalan).


Now I’m not much of an expert in this things, but I’m approximately 100% certain that pazo is Galician, not Catalan, for an estate of substance. Catalonia is warm and cheerful, with lots of lovely food. It lies on the Mediterranean. Galicia is, on the other hand, cold and wet. It is on Spain’s Atlantic seaboard and its inhabitants survive on a diet of grubby shellfish and cocaine. I hope that’s what Patricia et al had in mind.

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  1. I hear that in the Galician port of El Ferrol del Caudillo, chef Paco Santiago is about to open a restaurant called Jerk-off, which means “fusion food critic” in New Yorkese. Among the exotic fare will be a “Jersey Girl Beetroot Burger”.

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