Maria Mercedes Grubb

Executive Chef of Gallo Negro

James Beard "Best Chef: South" Semi-Finalist
Livestreamed from San Juan, PR,

About the Host

Puerto Rican cuisine is undergoing a renaissance, and leading the way is Chef María Mercedes Grubb, a native of San Juan, whose parents owned a modest food vending business. In 2004, Chef Grubb moved to NYC to attend the French Culinary Institute and, after graduating, she honed her craft under James Beard Award winner Gabriel Kreuther in the Michelin-starred kitchen of The Modern. She then gained experience cooking with Spanish Basque cuisine at Bar Basque and Italian cuisine at Maialino, Danny Mayer’s acclaimed Italian eatery in the Gramercy Park Hotel. In 2013, Chef Grubb returned to Puerto Rico and struck out on her own with Gallo Negro, a restaurant and whiskey bar in San Juan’s trendy Santurce area. Here, she focused on the freshest seasonal produce, emphasizing taste and whimsical composition. Consider, for instance, a dish like violet gnocchi, made from purple yams and roasted and served with grilled endive, stewed pigeon peas, kimchi, and creamy queso fresco. In 2019, Chef Grubb became the first woman in Puerto Rico’s food industry to be nominated for a James Beard Award as a Semi-Finalist for "Best Chef: South" and Food & Wine named her one of the leading chefs on the island.

About the Event

Chef Grubb welcomed us into her home kitchen (via livestream), and taught us how to cook a multi-course meal showcasing a few of her favorite signature nouveau Puerto Rican dishes (see full menu below). And, as is always the case at our events, she took throughout the event!

What will we be making?

Appetizer: Avocado Yuca Vichyssoise

Entrée: Scallops with Gandules Dal*

*For vegetarians, Chef Grubb recommends king oyster, maitake, or hen of the woods mushrooms as a scallop substitute.

What does my ticket get me?

In addition to getting unlimited viewing access to the recording of this event, you’ll receive the companion Recipe Book (which includes detailed step-by-step cooking instructions, kitchen equipment, and ingredient quantities needed to make each dish, as well as the complete grocery list) so you can cook the meal along with Chef Grubb as often as you’d like!

What will the yield be?

2 servings of each dish.

How long does this event take?

From start to finish, this event runs for 1hr 41 min.

What kitchen equipment, appliances, and utensils will be used?
  • Large pot
  • Large sauté pan
  • Medium pot with a lid
  • Medium skillet (preferably cast iron)
  • Shallow freezer-safe baking dish or bowl
  • Blender
  • Small bowls for ingredients
  • Cutting board & sharp knife
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Microplane
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Tongs
  • Mixing spoon or spatula
  • Large spoon
  • Ladle
  • Paper towel
  • Stick blender (optional)
What ingredients will be needed?

In addition to the following kitchen staples – garlic, kosher salt, neutral oil (e.g. canola or vegetable), rice vinegar, sesame oil, and unsalted butter – Chef Grubb recommends acquiring the following ingredients listed below:

  • Avocado
  • Cayenne chiles (or serranos)
  • Cobanero pepper or red pepper flakes
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Crispy garlic, fried onions, or dried minced garlic
  • Culantro (or cilantro)
  • Cumin seeds
  • Frozen yuca/cassava (or russet potatoes)
  • Gandules or green pigeon peas
  • Ginger
  • Green mangoes (or green apples)
  • Kelp or furikake (optional)
  • Leeks
  • Turmeric
  • Scallops (or meaty mushrooms - e.g. king oyster, maitake, or hen of the woods)
  • Vegetable stock
  • White miso
  • White pepper
  • White wine
  • Yellow onions

*Please note, immediately after purchasing your ticket, you’ll receive access to the Recipe Book, which outlines exact quantities of each ingredient from the list above that will be needed to cook each dish.

Member Reviews ( 9 )

Rochelle T.

Despite the delayed start, Chef Grub still gave us a great meal with great instruction, resulting in 2 very flavorful dishes!
Susan R.

She was fun. Food presentation was beautiful.
Terry B.

I thought Chef Grubb was delightful and handled the delay with true professionalism. The menu was delicious. That said, this long delay could have and should have been avoided--I mean, a tank of propane?
Betts M.

Running out of fuel was a bit of a problem but I think because we were running late the conversation should have been curtailed a little. We were starving and needed to hurry and finish so we could eat. But, it was delicious!!!
Troy C.

The soup yielded far too much for two people- could have fed 10 with it.
Ashley L.

Understanding the pace was faster because of the delay in starting, it was a bit too quick if you were trying to cook along. Chef Grubb was lovely though and we really enjoyed the meal!
Eithne M.

Chef grubb was very pleasant , and a great teacher. The meal was delicious, especially the soup and scallops As I lived in Dominica , in the West Indies for two years I experienced running out of things often. Commodities were in short supply so I appreciated her run for gas
Anne S.

Her ingredients were very difficult to locate in any of the stores in my area. I even made a trip to a Hispanic grocery and still was unable to locate many of the ingredients. That as well as the delay made this meal very difficult to complete.
Tonya M.

Greetings: The chef made 2 family style dish and shared some easy techniques. This was perfect for someone like me who isn’t a professional chef but likes to use flavor profiles when cooking. Her kitchen looked realistic…like she catered an event before doing the chef stream. This was my favorite chef stream to day!