Spanish chef Dani Garcia is putting in hour after hour of work and sacrifice to achieve his dream of conquering the palates of New Yorkers with Manzanilla Spanish Brasserie.
The eatery, which is at 345 Park Avenue South, brings the dishes of Marbella, in southern Spain, nearly 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles) to diners in Manhattan.
Garcia, who was born in Marbella in 1975, says he welcomes diners to a "very New York" space that has Andalusian roots adapted to the Big Apple.
"It's a lifeline, it's oxygen, it is many things for me professionally and personally, much more important than it might appear," the famous chef of Calima, a Marbella restaurant awarded two Michelin stars, said in an interview with Efe.
Manzanilla Spanish Brasserie is not a tapas bar like the similarly named establishment in Malaga or a haute cuisine restaurant like Calima, the chef said.
"It's a brasserie, a pretty open concept and very New York, very geared to the city," but without forgetting its roots, Garcia said.
The chef and his mother, Isabel Reinaldo, have just teamed up to publish "En la cocina de mi madre" (Ediciones B), a collection of innovative recipes for preparing traditional and new dishes.
"It is inevitable, your way of cooking is unique and even if I open myself up to new ingredients, in the end you are you, and your kitchen has your personality and your flavor, and, if you can, in 80 percent of the cases, it is a reminder of the kitchen in your home, in your land, of what you have lived all your life," the chef, who trained with Martin Berasategui, said.