In May 2009, chef George Mendes opened Aldea in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood. Named after the Spanish word for village, Aldea’s menu is inspired by the Iberian Peninsula and chef/owner George Mendes’ heritage. Mendes adds a modern, seasonal approach to create a menu perfectly balanced between rusticity and refinement. His menu includes a variety of shellfish, various preparations of salt-cod, bacalao, rice dishes and Iberian-cured hams.Read more
Aldea’s interior tells a story of the inherent beauty of the countryside of the Iberian Coast and places it within a contemporary, elegant stage. Images of water, air, wind, clouds, sky, earth, stone, and wood shape the gestures of the journey through the sequence of unique spaces: a grand hall with a freestanding bar, an expansive dining room with private niches, an intimate chef’s counter and a coveted chef’s table.
A first-generation American born to Portuguese parents, George Mendes has fond memories of the elaborate, festive meals his family would prepare while he was growing up in Danbury, Connecticut. From a young age, he knew he wanted a creative career, and food was his first love. Soon after finishing high school, Mendes enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
A first-generation American born to Portuguese parents, chef George Mendes has fond memories of the elaborate, festive meals his family would prepare while he was growing up in Danbury, Connecticut. From a young age, he knew he wanted a creative career, and food was his first love. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1992, Mendes worked at the original Bouley in Tribeca, where he met his mentor, chef David Bouley. To further hone his talent, he staged in France with legendary chefs Alain Passard (L’Arpége) and Alain Ducasse (La Bastide de Moustiers) where he learned a fundamental principle of his cooking today: source the best, seasonal ingredients.
In 2003, Mendes staged with revered Basque chef Martin Berasategui at his eponymous three-star Michelin restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain. There, he explored the heritage and the contemporary culinary trends of the Iberian Peninsula. This experience made a significant impact on his career, as he worked alongside one of Spain’s most acclaimed culinary masters to create the cuisine that would later influence Aldea’s menu. After working at Sandro Gamba’s Lespinasse, Kurt Gutenbrunner’s Wallsé, and running the kitchen at Tocqueville, Mendes opened his acclaimed Aldea in 2009.
Salt Cod Casserole
This recipe is delicious with home-cured bacalhau. However, plan ahead; curing and rinsing the salt cod is a four-day process.
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Position an oven rack to the lower third of the oven.
In a 4-quart cast iron cocotte (Dutch oven) over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and salt, and stir to coat evenly with the oil. Cover the cocotte with the lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a small bowl, discard the bay leaves, and wipe out the cocotte with a damp paper towel.
Staub Cast Iron
Shallow Wide Round Cocotte
The Staub cocotte is the classic vessel for all of your favorite meals. Staub’s proprietary self-basting system consists of spikes that are distributed throughout the interior of the lid to ensure a continuous rainfall effect over the food, ensuring an optimal cooking result. The self-basting lid is 9 times more effective than conventional lids.
Features & Benefits:
-Made in France
-Heavyweight enameled cast iron transfers and retains heat evenly
-Extra-wide cooking surface with high sides to contain liquids for braising, roasting meat and cooking stew
-Multicoat enameling creates a glossy, vibrantly colored “majolique” finish
-Stainless steel lid knob
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New York, NY 10011