July 2017 - The Cut: There's a New Chef in Town: Chef Marc Quiñones
Want the recipe for taking something great and making it even better? We know just the guy to ask! Chef Marc Quiñones, who was named Executive Chef of Hotel Andaluz earlier this year, is bringing his own flavor to the already established MÁS – Tapas y Vino, located inside Albuquerque's boutique hotel.
The full-service restaurant and tapas bar—small plates, for those who are wondering—has been thriving since it opened in 2013, bringing traditional Spanish cuisine to the downtown area. With bold flavors, locally-sourced ingredients, and a thoughtfully crafted menu and wine list, MÁS had proven its success and left very little room, if any, for improvement.
Enter Chef Marc Quiñones.
Well-known and highly respected in the culinary scene, it was only a matter of time before Quiñones’s passion and skills transformed into flavors of their own, resulting in changes both inside and outside of the kitchen. Quiñones sat down and discussed his new role at the downtown hot-spot and what the future looks like at MÁS – Tapas y Vino now that he's the new chef in charge. “You see, MÁS was a very good restaurant before I got there, but upon my arrival, I knew that to take it to the next level was going to require me to dedicate myself to focusing on the details,” he explains. “I am very detail-oriented. I also enjoy being visible in the restaurant and our open kitchen gives me the ability to interact with our guests on a daily basis. That’s fun, and I know [the guests] enjoy seeing me in action leading my team.”
MÁS guests aren't the only ones who get to see the chef in action. Quiñones has a pretty impressive social media presence with over 30,000 followers, all of whom get to see the life and work of Albuquerque Magazine’s two-time “Best Chef in the City” award winner live in action. Whether he is showing off one of his beautifully presented dishes or documenting one of his television appearances, his followers are always up to date on what @ChefMQ is up to! “From my early days, I have been very consistent in interacting and involving my followers on my journey. By being consistent in doing that, the amount of people who follow me has grown tremendously over the years,” he says. “But again, it’s only because they, too, feel a part of what I do. And that’s genuine. So many people have come down to MÁS to try my food, and I am just so appreciative.”
Within a month of his reign, Chef Marc Quiñones rolled out brand new menus in both MÁS and Ibiza—the rooftop lounge located within Hotel Andaluz. He only slightly modified existing guest favorites, he says, but the majority of the items on the current menu(s) are brand new. He did, however, remain true to the Mediterranean and Spanish focus but simply added a more contemporary flair. With so many dishes to choose from, a newcomer might seek a recommendation from the Le Cordon Bleu Graduate, in which case Quiñones was quick to recommend The Iberian Black Pig. “It’s literally called The Secreto cut because it’s hidden inside the shoulder of the pig. We sear on the plancha and serve it on top of grilled sourdough with a little caramelized onion, fresh thyme, and oregano,” he describes. “The dish is finished with a bit of maldon sea salt. Totally out of this world….Just fantastic!”
Outside of the kitchen, Quiñones is a loving father and husband, who he says he owes everything to his family. “They support me so much and are so understanding of my obligations,” he gushes. “They are so much fun, and if I am not working, you can best believe that I am spending my time with them.”
The future looks bright for both Chef Quiñones and Hotel Andaluz; a perfect pairing, if you will.
To get a taste of the passion and hard-work that goes into these dishes, visit MÁS – Tapas y Vino for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and meet the chef who's stirring up something different.