Semilla: Successful chef celebrates his Caribbean roots with vegetarian cuisine in Brooklyn


This article by Fabiola Galindo centers on Jose Ramirez-Ruiz, a successful chef in Brooklyn who recently became one of the first Puerto Ricans in the city to receive a Michelin star for his restaurant “Semilla,” which carries a “healthy, sophisticated menu with a Latin touch.” Galindo writes:

The New York-based chef is ready for a week of work in his restaurant in Williamsburg, Semilla.

We sat down to talk with the chef, who hails from Puerto Rico. Ramirez Ruiz opened “Semilla” with pastry chef Pamela Yung in 2014; he uses nature as the main ingredient.

“There was no restaurant where you could come in and meet the owner, where the owner will welcome you, talk, gives you food and drink, and offers a cozier experience.”

And it is really cozy. The 90 per cent vegetarian restaurant is small, which helps preserve an intimate atmosphere among the guests. With only 18 chairs and a long bar-style table, the tasting menu that customers can enjoy is much more abundant. Some dishes seem collected from field to table, keeping the sophisticated look inspired by the European bistro model, but preserving an underlying Latin flavor.

Semilla, located in the heart of the neighborhood “Los Sures” in Brooklyn offers a menu of 11 dishes that mainly based on different vegetables every day. If you come more than once, you will not find the same dishes, as these change depending on what Ramirez finds in the local market where he gets his ingredients. “Produce comes and goes. We are not calling someone to do deliveries and to bring products from China, Japan. No, we are working with area farmers of the New York region.”

Since the beginning, José is dedicated to developing his vocation as a chef. Before opening Semilla, his first restaurant, Jose worked for several other fine dining establishments. Now Semilla has been named one of the top 10 new restaurants in the country. [. . .]

For original article (in Spanish), see–vegetariano-en-brooklyn.html

For photo above (and more information, in English), see

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