Katie McGhee checks out 6 Puertas, a new twist on Buenos Aires’ closed-door restaurant movement, a rotating pop-up event catered by five chefs.
Puerta cerradas are far from a new phenomenon in Buenos Aires, but 6 Puertas serves to add a fresh twist to the night, with food served from five chefs instead of one. The concept is simple, as each of the five chefs take it in turns to host a 6 Puertas event at their own closed door restaurant, where they all group together to produce two dishes each to impress their guests.
These five chefs are Javier Burgos from 657 Puertas Adentro, Julio Lunghi Mazzieri from A Fuego Fuerte, Marcello Elefoso from Buri, Antosh from Lo de Antosh, and Santiago Quercia from Lulia. Having met through Cookapp, they decided to form a group to try something new, each bringing their individual cooking style to the table. The result is an extensive menu of different flavours and cuisines.
Describing the popularity of Puertas Cerradas in Buenos Aires, Marcello noted that whilst they have been around for approximately eight years, they remain popular due to the economic situation in Argentina, noting that “in other countries this setup wouldn’t work, but here it does, and we are happy to be a part of that and expand on it with 6 Puertas because people really do like it.”
The Indy went to one of their 6 Puertas events held at Lo de Antosh, and the food was delicious, comprising of a combination of canapé-sized dishes with a wide range of flavours, including sushi, risotto, sweetbreads, mini-burgers, and gazpacho. Elefoso explains that “we do a bit of everything – for us it’s all about playing around and seeing what we can come up with, it’s a bit of fun that other people can enjoy”.
Whilst ten courses may seem like an excessive amount of food, the dishes are evenly spaced throughout the night so you are never left feeling hungry or too full. The meal also comes with a great accompaniment of white and red wines from Bodega Piedra Negra, and a deadly but delicious yerba mate cocktail by Lunghi Mazzieri, made by combining mate with a large mixture of different spirits.
Lunghi Mazzieri, who describes his speciality as Italian-Argentine food, credits the success of their events and of puertas cerradas to the fact that “when people come to us they know they’re going to eat good food and drink good wine, and it all comes with a sense of security that you’ll have a good time. It’s an intimate setting so you can come alone or with other people and you can get to us at 8pm and then stay until 1am, because there is no waiter rushing you out of the door.”
This intimate atmosphere really does add to the dinner-party ambiance of the night, and it’s an easy environment to socialise in. Whilst there is, of course, the option to withdraw to a corner and just enjoy the food, the open-plan space is informal and relaxed and the array of different seating arrangements means mingling is encouraged. Also, with a new dish to taste (and discuss how delicious it is) appearing constantly in front of you, small talk has never been easier!
Elefoso describes it as “a completely different rhythm of restaurant, because the guests get to participate with us, and we share tables together.” With this in mind, the real bonus is that with five different chefs cooking the food, there’s always one nearby for you to try to convince to reveal their secret recipes.
The next 6 Puertas event is on 21st December in San Telmo, and there will be new events roughly once a month, with a fresh menu every time. The price for the night is $600 per person, including ten courses and unlimited wine. Follow 6 Puertas on Facebook for more information about their events and menus, and also look out for events advertised for their individual restaurants as well.