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Botika Opens at the Historic Pearl


Botika is now open at Pearl.

Botika is now open at Pearl.

Chef Geronimo Lopez has opened Botika, a Peruvian-Asian restaurant, at the Historic Pearl. The menu features Chifa and Nikkei cuisine as well as inventive takes on classic dishes from Asia and Latin America.

Chaufa

Chaufa includes crispy pork belly and sofrito.

 “We have been working so hard and prepping for this day for the last several months,” said Lopez. “We are so thrilled to be welcoming the San Antonio community to our restaurant, and introducing them to this new flavor profile I think the city will really love.”

 Botika’s menu features picaderas like Tuna Tartare and Chifles, Pork Jowl Steamed Buns, and Duck Confit and Potato Salteñas as well as ceviches and tiraditos, like the Al Tumbo, deep-fried ceviche with tamarillo leche de tigre. Sushi rolls include the Costa Roll, with shrimp, crispy rice noodles, and sweet ají sauce, and the Sweet Plantain Uramaki Roll, with green onion, Neufchatel cheese, and spicy ‘crispies’.  Wok selections are led by the savory beef Lomo Saltado and the crispy pork belly Chaufa rice dish.

 The restaurant features an open kitchen and a sushi-ceviche bar with counter seating, plus an inviting cocktail lounge area with vibrant ambience. Botika’s cocktail menu includes a variety of sakes, rums, piscos, and cachaças. Cocktail selections include the Batucada (cachaça, lime, sugar, angostura), Güenazo Cooler (sake, canton, yuzu, lime, mint), Piscolero 101 (pisco, chicha morada, lemon, tonic), and more.

Piscolero 101

Piscolero 101

“Pearl couldn’t be more excited to be home to a groundbreaking restaurant concept for San Antonio,” said Shelley Grieshaber, culinary director at Pearl. “Chef Lopez’s interpretation of Peruvian-Asian cuisine is unique to this city. The flavors are an intricate blend of familiar and exotic, and the atmosphere is vibrant and fun. Prepare to be transported to a new culinary destination!”

Lopez was most recently the executive chef and an instructor at Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, where he led the opening of the school’s NAO restaurant (now Nao Latin Gastro Bar).  Including his home country of Venezuela, he has led the kitchen at top restaurants and resorts in six countries over the past 20 years.

 Botika, 303 Pearl Parkway, is open right now Monday through Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m. Extended hours, lunch service, and late night dining hours will be announced in the upcoming months. Due to limited initial opening hours, reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling 210-951-9393 or by visiting botikapearl.com.

Sweet Plantain Uramaki Roll at Botika

Sweet Plantain Uramaki Roll at Botika

There are several dining areas to choose from at Botika.

The interior of Botika

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CIA Introduces a New Latin Cuisine Festival Oct. 1-3


The Culinary Institute of America will celebrate Latin cuisine, culture, and culinary education by hosting Arriba el Norte, a three-day festival from Thursday, Oct. 1, to Saturday, Oct. 3. The inaugural summit will incorporate a professional conference, a festival for food enthusiasts, and chef presentations for high school students.

arriba“We have selected amazing chefs who are experts in the cuisine of El Norte, the United States and Mexican border,” said Fernando Salazar, managing director of the CIA’s San Antonio campus. “This will be an exciting event not to be missed that will showcase the great gastronomy of this region.”

The highlight of the festival will be a full-day event for food enthusiasts in the greater San Antonio community on Saturday, Oct. 3. The event will feature everything from hands-on cooking classes to a special dinner featuring five guest chefs at Nao. The culinary workshops with CIA faculty include “Entertaining with Antojitos” with chef Michael Katz, “Texas BBQ” with chef Brannon Soileau, and “Desserts of El Norte” with chef Melissa Fritz. 

Chef demonstrations by CIA alumni during the day include “From Jerky to Charcuterie” with Steve McHugh of Cured and “From El Mercado to The Restaurant” with Diego Galicia of Mixtli Progressive Mexican Culinaria. Food and beverage tastings will highlight “The Wines of Mexico” with Vinos L.A. Cetto and “Botanero – Pairing Tequila & Small Plates” with chefs German Gonzalez and Juan Ramón Cárdenas. Tickets for the culinary demonstrations and food and beverage tasting classes range in price from $25 to $150. 

Additionally, chef Hinnerk von Bargen, a CIA professor and author of “Street Foods,” will host a “Street Foods of El Norte” demonstration during the Pearl Farmers Market, with food available for purchase at the CIA’s outdoor kitchen.

The festival day will culminate in a dinner at Nao celebrating five years of the CIA at its expanded San Antonio campus with a theme of “Five Years, Five Chefs, Five Courses.” The featured chefs include Juan Ramón Cárdenas of El Meson Principal and Don Artemio in Saltillo, Coahuila; Angel Garcia of El Porvenir in Tampico, Mexico; Javier Plascencia of Misión 19 and Finca Altozano in Baja California; Alfredo Villanueva of Romero y Azahar in Monterrey, Mexico; and Alain Dubernard, department chair of baking and pastry arts at CIA San Antonio. Tickets are on sale now for $99 and include paired beverages and five courses from these acclaimed chefs. 

Additionally, Arriba el Norte will invite local high school students to experience culinary demonstrations and tastings from CIA-instructors on subjects ranging from Texas Cuisine to Native Fruits in Modern Bakery, along with a Live Fire lunch on Thursday, Oct. 1.

The professional conference for foodservice professionals on Friday, October 2 will feature cooking demonstrations and ingredient tastings from CIA trained chefs and faculty featuring Latin cuisine, including “Bracero – From Traditional to Modernity” and “The Modern Interpretation of the Classic Cabrito;” breakout sessions; a panel discussion titled “The Cuisine of El Norte: What’s Next?” moderated by CIA Director of Latin Studies, Chef Sergio Remolina; and lunch at Nao featuring “The Many Faces of Rice.”

For more information about Arriba El Norte and to purchase tickets for hands-on cooking classes, chef demos and tastings, food and beverage tastings, and the “Five Years, Five Chefs, Five Courses” dinner, visit enthusiasts.ciachef.edu/arriba.

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