First Female Basque Chef in South Florida Opens Piripi
Piripi, helmed by Moroccan-Basque Chef Najat Kaanache opened in Coral Gables, Florida.
Piripi is the collaborative brainchild of AKA Hospitality, named for its partners Teo Arranz, Najat Kaanacheand Gus Abalo. Chef Najat brings global talent as the first and only female Basque chef in South Florida.
Chef Najat and her team are serving up authentic Spanish and Basque dishes, melding her culinary experience with the rustic flavors and fragrant spices she grew up with in the Spanish countryside.
Chef Najat honed her skills at Michelin 3 star Noma, French Laundry, Per Se, and Alinea after spending the final two years of El Bulli’s existence working directly with Ferran Adria until the restaurant closed. The culmination of Chef Najat’s journey through the world of gastronomy and the fragrant flavors of her upbringing inspired the creation of Piripi, which is Spanish slang for happy or tipsy.
The restaurant echoes this sentiment throughout from a witty and whimsical menu to the moving glass floor to ceiling doors that blur the lines between inside and out. The restaurant was created to bring a distinct dining experience with an emphasis on sharing to South Florida diners, inviting them to celebrate and explore the essence of legendary Spanish cuisine.
Guests can enjoy Piripikoteos, Piripi’s take on small bites, derived from the Basque word Picoteo which means to snack. Piripikoteos range from Patatas Soufflé, light-as-air potatoes and a spicy brava sauce, to the Hot Diggity Dog, a salted meringue bun filled with chicken liver mousse.
For those seeking more sustenance, guests can select composed main dishes that vary in protein and preparation style. “Del Norte” features main plates from the sea such as Pulpo Paul, slow-cooked octopus and peasant potatoes, or Gambas del Paraiso, gigantic head-on prawns cooked traditionally a la plancha with sliced garlic.
“Tierra! Tierra! Tierra!,” or from the earth, showcases selections such as Chuleton de Buey con Piperrada, a 28 oz. ribeye with onions, peppers, and tomatoes to symbolize the colors of the Basque flag or El Cordero Paciente, a 36-hour roasted saddle of lamb accented with rosemary.
Rice dishes range from Canejo y Pollo with wild rabbit and chicken and Txipiron with calamari and squid ink.
Desserts, or PiripiPostres, include a Crema Catafrita (fried crema Catalana), Chuches, or homemade Spanish candies, and house-churned helado.