Chef Nicolas (Nico) López oversees all culinary operations at Mercado Little Spain, Chef José Andrés’ first outpost in New York City, a 35,000-square-foot Spanish food hall. Since opening, Mercado Little Spain has been recognized by The New York Times as the best new restaurant in 2019 and included in their list of 100 Best Restaurants in 2022. Chef Nico was also the winner of the US Sherry Cup and was awarded Best Dessert Pairing at the World Sherry Cup in 2021.
Chef Nico oversaw the creation of 136,000 meals provided for the non-profit World Central Kitchen to feed those facing food insecurity during the pandemic, and in 2021 was named to Nation Restaurant News’ Power List for this extraordinary work.
Prior to Mercado Little Spain, Nico spent two years as one of the primary chefs at Chef Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, contributing to menu development at two-Michelin-starred minibar by José Andrés and Jaleo. He also helped in the development of Andrés’ cookbook, Vegetables Unleashed.
He began cooking professionally at 16, studying in Madrid while staging at the Michelin-starred restaurant Zalacain. He then left for London to join the team at three-Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck, and later working with two-Michelin-starred Chef Paco Roncero in Madrid, the two-Michelin-starred La Terraza del Casino, and helped develop and conceptualize Sublimotion in Ibiza, the restaurant where audio visual technology and gastronomy intertwined to create the first multisensorial gastronomic experience in Europe, and opened Version Original in Bogota, Colombia. Chef Nico also played a role in teaching master classes for Master Chef Colombia and Master Chef Junior Colombia, where he trained contestants on different techniques and ingredients in advance of competitions where they would be required for use. Chef Nico also worked with the renowned Adrià brothers.
My homage to Jacques Pépin… this is my Spanish influenced version of a perfect omelet, or tortilla, as it is known in Spain. The filling of delicious sobrasada–a spreadable chorizo-like sausage that’s made from Iberico pork and Idiazabal cheese–a raw sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region of Spain–is drizzled with honey for a wonderful gustatory experience… heaven!View This Recipe