When people talk about Latin American cuisine, chef Eric Rivera finds that the conversation can unfortunately land somewhere between tortilla-based foods and things that are deeply, however lovingly, fried. And that's it. But he wants to change that narrow interpretation, and the quickest way to a person's heart food-knowledge base is through their stomach.
Rivera operates Addo, an aggregate restaurant with various offerings from weekend brunch to 20-course tasting menus, out of a space in Ballard. And on April 11 Rivera, who's a self-professed fan of both tortillas and fried foods, hopes to expand Seattle's culinary lexicon through a seven-course tasting menu that he's cooking with chef Emme Ribeiro Collins.
Collins owns and runs Alcove in the University District where she proffers Brazilian dishes of all sorts—yuca fries, branzino escabeche, feijoada. With their chef powers combined, Collins and Rivera will pack much Latin flavor, specifically from Brazil and Puerto Rico, into one dinner.
"I've got this background of fancy food," says Rivera, who's cooked alongside Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago, "but I've also grown up eating [Puerto Rican] food." Collins likewise has an impressive resume having cooked in notable restaurants in Seattle, DC, and beyond. But the collaboration dinner is a chance to have a dialogue about different Latin foods, the similarities, the differences—"I think that's the coolest thing," says Rivera.
As for a peek at the menu, don't expect one. "We ask people to trust us and let us take it from there," says Rivera.* But, like a good conversationalist, chefs know where to improvise and how to add nuance.
Chef Emme & Chef Eric Collab Dinner
Apr 11, Addo, $50
*This may sound scary, especially to those with various dietary preferences and needs, but Addo is typically very accommodating. This dinner, however, may not be the best time.