Meet Richard Sloven of Gorilla Guac
Tagged: guac rock, guacamole, interview 2 Comments
Maybe you heard of him on Grub Street this past week or maybe you went to Quiz Rock with a Side of Guac at the Knitting Factory but Richard Sloven is taking New York City by storm, one order of guac at a time. With Gorilla Guac, Richard prepares guacamole made-to-order in various locations including the Guac Rock Boat Cruise on July 18th. Tickets are still available. So let’s peak into the mind of a west coast guacamole enthusiast, shall we?
Give us a little background on Gorilla Guac, you started in San Fransisco, right?
Yea, I started it last year while living in the Mission District of San Francisco as an alternative to me going to the bars on Friday nights. I had my table setup in front of a little coffee shop called Grand Coffee, and other food vendors SoupDup and Rocky’s Fry Bread were out there as well. We just had our own little thing going on Friday nights.
Is it more difficult to find avocados here than in CA?
It’s definitely more difficult to find good avocados at a reasonable price in New York. Back in SF I could walk out my door and walk 2 blocks in any direction and there would be 10 different markets selling big, ripe avocados for $1. Here a decent avocado is about $2.50-$3.
Do you notice the difference between CA avocados and ones imported?
Actually, I don’t really pay attention to where the avocados are coming from.
What brought you to NYC?
I came here to work in the music industry. I love San Francisco, but everything was a little too comfortable there, and I figured if I wanted to get my career in the music business going I would need toget out of my comfort zone. Everyone also told me that Gorilla Guac would be a hit in NYC, considering the city isn’t known for it’s stellar Mexican food.
Where is your favorite place to get guacamole in NYC?
I don’t have one yet. Guac is pretty much always a good addition to nachos or a burrito, but I haven’t had any that was so good I would just get an order of guac and chips. The best nachos I’ve had though are at Los Arcos, a little Mexican cafe near my apartment.
What can people expect from your guacamole?
There are two main that make Gorilla Guac stand out. First, every bowl of guac is made-to-order. I have my pico de gallo prepped, but I don’t open the avocado until somebody makes an order. This is the really the key to great guacamole, and why most restaurants don’t stand out in the guac department. Avocados taste best within minutes of opening them, not hours later! The other key is the homemade chips. Its really simple, just chop corn tortillas into triangles, throw them in hot oil, then salt them. The difference in taste between a home made chip and one from the store is enormous.
Finally, besides the Guac Rock Boat Cruise, where can people find Gorilla Guac?
I’m still finding my feet here in NYC, but lately I have been setting up at Knitting Factory. This Wednesday I am hosting the second Quiz Rock with a Side of Guac, where I do a trivia night and serve Gorilla Guac. I’m open to ideas of other places to setup, doing it late night on Fridays and Saturdays is definitely the most fun.