Tierra de Nadie has been referred to as one of the best burger spots in town. Their creative recipes – their cheddar stuffed burger is a personal obsession of mine – along with the freshness and authenticity of their housemade products have stolen the hearts of many within the local food scene.
As if their regular offerings weren’t good enough to make you want to go all the way to Caballito on a Monday evening, they’ve decided to take things to a whole new level of crazy delicious with the pop-up series “The Nite Chef Burger”. Tierra de Nadie owners, David y Guadalupe, are in fact welcoming guest chefs into their kitchen once a month for an entire service.
The Nite Chef Series started as a determined attempt to change the public’s negative image on burgers. “We want people to understand that burgers are way more than just fast food” Guadalupe, Tierra de Nadie’s co-owner, told The Bubble.
The first guest was Santiago Ferreira – former chef at Sucre and owner of The Sandwich Bar (not currently open). Ferreira and The Sandwich Bar had already gained recognition among midday microcentro foodies for his Criolla Burger. Ferreira’s recipe composed of chilies, provoleta and a homemade “salsa criolla” was added to Tierra De Nadie’s menu for one night last november.
The first pop up night was a hit.
Other chefs quickly started to get interested in the concept and soon The Nite Chef Series became a monthly event.
Hugo Macchia – Chef at Fernando Trocca Sucre – took over Tierra De Nadie’s kitchen to compose a lamb burger topped with a harissa sauce, and served with sriracha rustic fries, last December.
2016 started with the visit of acclaimed chef Juan Gaffuri – executive chef at the Four Season’s Elena and Pony Line Bar – and his team. This meat expert introduced a dry aged burger that soon drove crowds to invade the sidewalk in front of TDN. Luckily for them, the Tierra De Nadie team had it all figured out and invited Cocktail Truck Arcelino to join the party.
Last Tuesday, the 4th edition of The Nite Chef series took place on what was probably the warmest night of the month. Electricity cuts had affected the neighborhood, but the show went on. Fabio Alberti – former actor and head chef of Zona Norte’s famous food truck “El Puesto de Fabio” – and his associates introduced a braised pork based cuban sandwich variation.
Just like the first time, a few regulars were annoyed by the long and unusual lines, while others felt upset not to get their usual “take away” option. Many though were excited about the idea of getting a special item added to the so familiar menu (also available on these special nights). They stood up to the oppressing heath, craving for a bite of the so coveted cuban sandwich/burger.
“We feel honored and thankful for the fact that chefs are approaching us when they feel attracted to the concept”, Guadalupe told The Bubble, adding they “don’t want to go out there looking for new guests” and would rather for the guest list to keep growing organically.
Each guest Chef has the liberty to choose its own recipe. “Respect the Burger concept, and work with only homemade ingredients” are the only conditions set by the TDN’s team.
“We’re always aiming to bring something new to the table for our guests” Guadalupe explains. But that contribution is only temporary.
The Chef Nite Burger series is in fact – as the Pop-Up concept implies – an ephemeral event. And it is that fleetingness precisely that makes the event so appealing. Each night and therefore each recipe are a one time thing, a special offering that motivates customers into waiting in line for sometimes longer than an hour. “It is important for us that every night is unique. We don’t want to have any do overs.” the co-owner told The Bubble.
Imitation is definitely not a goal in this interaction between Chefs and recipes. “We’re not looking to copy any recipe. We only want to add them to our menu for an evening” she adds. But Pop-Up nights are an excellent platform for boosting creativity and exchanging ideas. The guest Chefs have the space to develop an unprecedented recipe that they might or not want to integrate to their regular cooking. Actually, Fabio Alberti implied on his social media the new Sandwich might be added to his Food Truck’s regular menu.
“It’s all about giving and receiving” Fabio Alberti told The Bubble a few days after taking over Tierra de Nadie’s Kitchen. “Nowadays this kind of networking gives your business high visibility, it allows you to reach a whole new public and show what you’re capable of.”
The hosts get to offer their regular clients a different product, attract new customers and finally, are able to get useful advice from an expert outsider, which can eventually lead to improving or innovating the regular offer. As co-owner Guadalupe puts it “We don’t want to copy, but we’re open for suggestions”.
“David – TDN’s co-owner and head cook – is a gladiator” guest Chef and former actor Fabio Alberti told The Bubble. “He’s been able to generate a new kind of gastronomic event that bring people happiness.”
The Nite Chef Burger series will be taking place on the first Tuesday of every month. Rumors are a famous guitarist, and converted chef, might be taking over the range for the March edition. Keep tuned with The Bubble to get all the details on the next rock-your-face-off burger.