Jorge Udelman took his first steps as a cook in Caracas selling homemade ice cream and tres-leches cake to finance his travels. In light of his success, he changed his studies in business administration to the Venezuelan Center of Gastronomic Training. He passed through France, where he learned the language, how to properly care for raw materials through contact with the farmer, and the preparation of typical dishes in a brasserie. On his way he crossed the Club Med of the Bahamas, where the work rate of twenty hours a day became a way of life. With a frying pan in hand, three languages, and a weight of references in his pocket, Udelman made Mexico his new destination.
The meaning of “órale” varies according to context and an arepa is a bread made from ground and cooked corn, stuffed with almost any ingredient, perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even an after party. In the beginning, the mission was to bring arepas to different places in the city by food truck. The idea of the restaurant came to fruition when they found the ideal space just a few steps away from the Venezuelan embassy.
The menu is clearly Venezuelan but it is enhanced with local, quality products. The pabellón criollo, a Venezuelan staple, is paired with Cotija cheese instead of the original llanero cheese, and patacón, a traditional Caribbean fried green banana dish, is served with cochinita pibil, a stew originating in Yucatan. The cachapa is a thick tortilla made from sweet corn and stuffed with queso de mano, similar to Oaxaca cheese. And, the reina pepiada, an arepa stuffed with shredded chicken, avocado, and cilantro mayonnaise, was created in honor of the first Miss Venezuela.
And, the Venezuelan influence doesn’t stop with the food. The Venezuelan coffee is the best because they worked tirelessly to find the perfect mixture of dark grains from Chiapas. And, the Sunday brunch cocktails are crafted by mixologist Martha Alvarez, who designed the cocktail menu around Venezuelan rums, named “liquid gold” at last year’s International Tourism Fair in Madrid.
Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday – Friday until 11 p.m.
Phone: 01 55 9155 6133
Text and Photos: Guénola Bally