Thursday, March 31, 2022

One of the Best Chefs in SMA: Chef Marco Cruz

Just last week, we enjoyed a five star, healthy lunch at Nomada Cocina de Interpretación- a plate of Lobina with chili ash, cabbage, lemon, purslane, watermelon radish and a Balsamic reduction - for just $220 pesos; proving once again that although some restaurants in town are getting pretty pricey, there are still great deals out there - especially ones that are cooked by five star chefs. In fact, you could eat lunch every day at Nomada Cocina de Interpretación - and there are weeks when we have - and still not break your budget. We first met Chef Marco Cruz at Bu’i – cocina de campo back in 2015. Never have we been so instantly taken by a chef more than at our first meal with him, which I can still remember: a Mole de olla – Short Rib (Sous vide) with carrot pure and baby corn. Chef Marco Cruz worked at Au Pied du Cochon, a highly rated restaurant in Mexico City’s Polanco district that is noted for its French food and was also part of Chef Enrique Olvera’s team. After working with Chef Olvera at Pujol, he joined Daniel Estebaranz to open La Estacion in Mexico City. In the beginning, Chef Olvera created the menu and Marco applied his recipes and techniques. Marco became the Executive Chef at both B'ui – cocina de campo in SMA and La Estacion in Mexico City a few years later.
In 2015, Chef Cruz opened his own restaurant, Nomada Cocina de Interpretación, in SMA. Since then, we have eaten with the chef over a hundred times in the seven years we have known him including the opening night at Nomada; we’ve been with him since day one. Since he settled into his home in Doce 18 two years ago, our favorite spot has been the view from the Chef’s Table, a special place to watch this master chef at work. Chef Cruz has a gift when it comes to creating modern, Mexican food that’s both visually beautiful and delicious. His Wednesday Tasting Menu is legendary. Because of new management at Doce 18, he’ll relocate to a new spot in Centro. Stay tuned for an announcement.
Food is ultimately about flavor and Chef Marco Cruz has the ability to build incredible flavor profiles that carry you to one of the many places he’s traveled or to a field in the campo, where native ingredients speak to the chef as simply as we talk to each other. Chef Cruz has always cooked healthy; protein and a lot of vegetables. What makes the meal magical is the flavors of his sauces; they are like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. Applying innovative techniques, the results are beyond ordinary; many times brilliant. Creative and passionate, his staff adores and respects him. Eat with him and you’ll swear you just had one of the best culinary experiences in San Miguel de Allende…and you did!
We eat with our eyes first so I am, as a rule, impressed with presentation. Everything that comes out of the kitchen at Nomada is visually picture perfect. Chef Marco Cruz guides a well orchestrated team, using ingredients in ground-breaking ways, like a slice of cecina in place of an ordinary tostada. Just look at his eyes and you can tell how focused he is. In our most recent comida at Nomada last week, we realized that after seven years and over 100 tastings, Chef Marco Cruz is still at the top of his game. Without a doubt he is one of the best, if not the best, chef in SMA. Nómada Cocina de Interpretación Relox 18, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende Phone: 415 121 6165 Daily: 12:00 Noon - 10:00 PM