Spanish Inspiration

With José Garcés and Seamus Mullen, Katie Button is one of three chefs “in love” with authentic Spanish food

Chef Katie Button cooking Spanish tapas at Cúrate

Chef Katie Button cooking Spanish tapas at Cúrate

In a recent post on Food & Wines from Spain, Katie Button was named one of three chefs who are captivated with the cuisine of Spain.

The Iberian country is home to a multitude of unique products, handcrafted and produced with care and an eye for superb quality. Perhaps the highlight of Spanish food is jamon Iberico, a cured ham that Chef Button uses liberally at Cúrate.

Sliced jamóon ibérico de bellota from acorn-fed Spanish pigs is served at Cúrate.

Sliced jamóon ibérico de bellota from acorn-fed Spanish pigs is served at Cúrate.

Jamón ibérico is the star ingredient at Cúrate, which Button finds so special and amazing that she keeps figuring out new ways to use every last scrap of it. They carve the ham by hand, and they use the scraps to make meatballs in tomato sauce, ham croquettes, huevos rotos (fried egg on top of crispy potatoes with ham pieces and drizzled in rendered ham fat). The bone is used in cooking the beans for monjetes, sautéed white beans with garlic and parsley, which Cúrate serves with butifarra and aioli.”

In addition to jamón, Cúrate features imported Spanish canned bonito, anchovies, and boquerones, white asparagus from Navarra, Marcona olives, octopus, cod, and select cheeses. These products authenticate her tapas with true Spanish flavor.

The wine list is a thing of Spanish beauty at Cúrate. Felix Meana, beverage director and a native of Spain, works hard to curate the all-Spanish list. The wines vary in cost and flavor profile, but each is a unique taste of the Spanish region in which it was produced. He researches the grapes and shares knowledge with the service staff so they are able to help select the perfect wine pairing for each tapa.


Cúrate wine display

Spanish wine is on display in Cúrate’s private dining room.

Visits to Spain are necessary to update the restaurant with new products and information to the staff. Meana and Chef Button travel as often as possible with their busy schedules to stay in tune with Spanish food and culture.

“The chef travels to Spain on a yearly basis to visit her mother-in-law and also to keep learning new things about Spanish culture and cuisine. In 2014 some members of Cúrate’s team joined her and Félix in a week-long visit touring Madrid, Segovia and León (Castile-León), Oviedo (Asturias), Haro (La Rioja), Sevilla, Jerez, Cádiz, and Jabugo (Andalusia), the land of the famous jamón… of course!”

Read more about the chefs and their Spanish influence on the Food & Wines from Spain website.