Notable Restaurants: Empellón Cocina, Empellón Taqueria
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Alex Stupak is (sort of) the new chef on the block. Before he ventured into ambitious manipulations of Mexican cuisine at Empellón, he had a choke hold on pastry arts, making a name for himself as one of the most creative pastry chefs in the nation. Stupak first aligned himself with the avant-garde gastronomy of Chicago’s Alinea, making his mark with creative sweets before moving to wd-50, where he mastered molecular desserts, and became “literally one of the best pastry chefs in the world,” according to wd-50 chef Wylie Dufresne. Now Stupak has two Mexican restaurants straddling downtown Manhattan (Empellon Cocina in the West and Empellon Taqueria in the East) where his loose, ultra-inventive take on country's cuisine is garnering praise in spades.