Oct 14 2022

Nico López: "Ibérico Ham is a Culinary Gem that Should Be Treated with Respect”

Together with Karla Hoyos, the chef has created a menu featuring Cinco Jotas acorn-fed Ibérico ham in four unique and delicious dishes

The 4th edition of Cinco Jotas By is upon us. Two chefs, Karla Hoyos and Nico López, have prepared a spectacular menu that will be served at Cinco Jotas Padre Damián in Madrid for 4 months starting in October.

Hoyos is the chef at Tacotomía and is part of the ONG World Central Kitchen, while López is the culinary director at Mercado Little Spain in New York City. Both are projects of chef José Andrés. Recently,  during the celebration of Spain's Great Match New York, four restaurants from Mercado Little Spain -Mar, Leña, Spanish Diner, La Barra- received the Restaurants From Spain certificate, a new seal seeks to recognize Spanish restaurants internationally for using authentic ingredients in the menus offered to diners.

The recipes for Cinco Jotas

López and Hoyos' recipes give pride of place to Cinco Jotas’ 100% acorn-fed Ibérico ham, and the menu features recipes like toast with Cinco Jotas pork cheeks with mole Xiqueño and tamale with Cinco Jotas ham and tomatillo, both from Hoyos. As for Lopéz, his contributions are Cinto Jotas croquette and Cinco Jotas tripe. 

According to the chef, “Ibérico ham is a culinary gem that we must treat with the utmost respect, and it can be used in many dishes... I prepared a croqueta for Cinco Jotas, with a little bit of morcón sausage (a cold cut offered by Cinco Jotas but which is not as well known). The result is sweet.”

He continued, “[The other] dish I prepared uses ham as a condiment. Hot bread, with hand-carved ham and tripe sauce on top. The idea is to recreate that moment when we all use a little bit of bread to soak up what’s left of a dish of tripe.”