Feb. 2017: it is another in the series of ‘Celebrity Chefs’. This time; Villanos en Bermudas restaurant – Nicolás López and Sergio Meza at the Capital Club Bahrain. Before you read a little bit about these two characters, maybe it is best to watch the video. Nico as he is called and Serg as he refers to himself have the persona of (sort of) rock stars, with their hair and all.
As Serg says; ‘Probably more than we should’ when referring to the amount of time the two master chefs spend with each other. There is no way around it as they spend an unearthly amount of hours in the restaurant ‘Villanos en Bermudas’ creating dishes that 99.99999 % of us have never seen or even heard of before. Serg says that they see each other more than they see anyone else and that includes his ex girl friend who he used to live with. They share a lot of things, indeed working every hour God sends in their Bogota haunt. Serg also joked that sharing only goes so far – and sharing girl friends was not one of their strong suits.
Sergio Meza is Mexican, Nicolás López is Argentinean, but how they both landed up in Bogota Colombia was a bit of a fluke. Neither can fathom how after only one year open, the restaurant got listed as No. 40 in the ‘Top 50 restaurants in South America’. It will obviously take others to answer that question by saying that both chefs are extremely passionate about their particular brand of food – and it is certainly not to everyone’s taste. Having said that, it obviously appeals to the more adventurous with a penchant for anything other than fish n’ chips or beef bourguignon. The restaurant menu (what menu; you get what Serg and Nico give you) brings a whole new meaning to the English idiom; ‘I could kill for a McDonalds right now’, with perhaps regulars expressing a desire to ‘strangle a vegetable at Villanos en Bermudas in quick time’.
From an outsider’s point of view, to describe their creations as ‘weird’ seems perfectly acceptable to the two chefs, since being up front; some of it is weird to a mundane pallet. The closest thing to it might be an abstract artist creating a painting, never quite knowing how it will turn out. Their food can be intense, using more vegetables and fruit than meat, with a considerable amount of sea food.
To look at Nico and Serg, one immediately assumes a PR ploy. The hair for a start and Serg’s adeptness at creating off the wall quotes; “A good steak is slutty – it gives
what you want whenever you want it”, referring to chefs not to be so predictable and serving meat across the menu.’It’s harder to create with vegetables’, so they try different blends with different food’. However, they assure us that the hair image is pure accident, but admit that it has created some attention.
One thing is for sure, they aim, maybe unwittingly, at food connoisseurs with some of the weirdness concoctions which ‘work’. A cauliflower sandwich comes to mind with ‘Cauliflower brioche and brown butter’ served as a sweet. Don’t ask, but it is delicious! Pear, asparagus, caviar and salad cream albeit labelled as ‘Sauce Hollandaise’, whipped up as a starter. Knocks the hell out of a ‘Prawn Cocktail’. Coconut and cucumber? What next, papaya and dark chocolate as a main course? Don’t laugh, it is stunningly tasty if you like that not quite sweet taste, which is one subject Serg talks about, that being; adding salt to sweeten a pallet.
These chefs are cool guys, extremely entertaining without even trying, but their serious side comes over as being ‘straight to the point’ about their food and a good few other things as well.
What was the food like on the day? Hard to say. One member of the whodoeswhat.tv crew just couldn’t get enough of it and another went around the tables like a hoover sucking up any dishes that had not been tried which brings up another observation. The media can be quite peasant like at times, especially in Bahrain, but it is not much different all over the world when all is said and done. They often have to be so many places at the same time, the public think that we get to relish just about everything, but often it is a rush. In the case of Serg and Nico, most of the media had gone before all the dishes had been served, since many reps had other commitments. This was disappointingly mentioned during the interview with the question, why was so much food left? Well whodoeswhat.tv are always first to arrive and last to leave, since we have the cameras to set up and strike, but we did say that it was not a slight on them, but an unfortunate necessity (we assume). Très embarrassant and we felt for the two geniuses. Culinary exquisiteness is not something to be labeled like a conference or car launch, since those sort of events are two a penny and incredibly boring, but very easy for the journalist, to snap a few pix and copy from the PR blurb. Can’t do that with food Bwana. Anyway, putting a feather in our cap, we do thoroughly cover almost all events we attend, far-far more than other media and this video is surely proof as with the hundreds of others on this channel. Journalist are a necessary evil in many respects though, as they do an awful lot for companies just by mentioning their products having attended the umpteen press conferences and launches which go on, with marketing guys hoping to get a freebee mench on air or in the mags, or now very much in Social Media. Maybe it is time for Bahrain to get a little more sophisticated and smack a few journos, especially when something so classy as Master Chefs appearing in Bahrain to show their art doesn’t quite have that je ne sais quoi it can very often deserve. Nobody should have missed Serg and Nico, since they are a class act all round. Next stop Bogota………… as if.
As a footnote; it is a ridiculous notion that Bahrainis or anyone else here is going to get on a plane and fly off to Bogota to Villanos en Bermudas to try a swift ten courses at the hands of Serg and Nico. So what is the point? It is class as stated and that is the point, it gives a tiny bit of the desperately needed sophistication to Bahrain, since we have the most pathetic media known to man, with broadcast nothing short of a very bad circus act swamped in incompetence and oblivious management and the press somewhere in La La land. Media is a barometer to sophistication levels. The other thing is; Kudos to the Capital Club, for it is at their expense they bring in these chefs and hold workshops for wannabe Bahraini chefs free of charge! For some it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet a master in their class and get free tutoring.