June 19, 2020
Chef Papi Has Fathers Day On Lock(down)
Some may say homemade greeting cards and the surmounting tie collection dads stack up each year is expected with each Father’s Day that passes. However, Chef Papi has created a complete celebration on-the-go the whole family can enjoy this weekend, including the “‘Cion Papi” bundles.
Early this year, Stephen Rodriguez, more famously known as Chef Papi, partnered with restauranteur Juan Goris, owner of New York City Mediterranean-themed dining room, Luxor NY, located in Washington Heights. The “Cloud kitchen” that is now ChefPapiKitchens.com, was born. This concept has proven to be very successful for the duo as well as Edward Hernandez, Luxor’s mixologist, who also forms part of this dynamic team.
Where most restaurants closed their doors to comply with laws to curve the spread of Covid- 19, the “Cloud kitchen” concept surged. Also known as a “Ghost kitchen”, it is when a restaurant rents its space to one or more chefs simultaneously. Orders are taken directly through the venue via phone calls or online ordering portals. Food is then prepared, and either delivered or picked- up curbside by clients.
When the world was sent to its room, necessary workers were required to continue their important work of service for their local communities. Chef Papi’s cloud kitchen has proven to be just as essential. The Chef and his team provide delicious cultural food and alcoholic beverages for nutrition and also to maintain a sense of normalcy, considering dining in at your favorite Dominican restaurant has been off-limits.
Chef Papi has taken Dominican staples and deliciously fused them with various cultures. His version of the Italian pizza is reimagined by substituting all of its ingredients for DR’s popular elements: crispy flat green plantain for the crust, topped with white queso frito, succulent salami, drizzled with a special sauce to finish.
Other creations include the Dominican taco, his take on the Latin fried rice, to sushi,mac-n-cheese and more (my mouth is literally watering as I write this, reminiscing having tried most of these dishes).
Fathers Day 2020 kicks off both the beginning of summer as well as phase 2 in reopening most places of business in the United States. As mandatory quarantine whines down and the world slowly opens up for face to face social gatherings, rebirth of the house party continues to be on the rise.
Each family sharing bundle feeds 3- 6 people and includes a choice of protein, 1- 2 sides, and 1 liter to a half gallon of a tasty alcoholic beverage. Chef Papi takes it a step further where the “La Bendición PAPÁ” package adds a special gift just for dads: 2 cigars, as well as one Chef Papi Kitchen t-shirt or hat.
As he continues to reinvent himself and the food industry as both a chef and businessman, Chef Papi says, “I want [my legacy to be, for] people to remember me by always giving more than I should and never expecting a thing in return. Just for everyone around me to be good. By good I mean happy. With love we can conquer the world”.
While families benefit from Chef Papi and his teams tasty creations, he will be grinding it out all weekend at Luxor. “Special days are when we are the busiest. So we are away a lot of times [from our families during holidays].”
Stephen, a happily married father of 2 boys and a baby girl, ranging from the ages of 6 years old to 16 months adds, “this Father’s Day is probably the [most important holiday]. All 3 of my kids are old enough to hold me responsible to certain things. Which I love. They each have something special that they count on me for. I have so much I’m grateful for!”