We received the telegraph in early June. It was a cryptic message but one thing was for sure: This was a kitchen takeover!

Resisting threats of blackmail, the kitchen complied and began gathering together the serial chef’s list of demands. Rare oysters and bones seeping with marrow. Octopus still squirming they’re so fresh. Forgetting truffle oil would be unforgivable. And he put Krankys on the list? Why in the world would he need Krankys?

On the day our chefs were taken hostage the kitchen was running on full power. Was it possible they had switched over to the dark side? Not sure, but we had to play it cool, put on some music, and hope no-one would notice what was going on in the back. Next thing you know, he’s unplugged our cables and taken control of the music! And we’re guilty of enjoying it.

Fast-forward to dinner time. The Rooftop, now under its imposed alias, MERCADO NEGRO, was filling up with suspicious characters. Twenty-five guests, the right number to spread the word around and give the serial chef his leverage, blindly accepted the invitation, brave to experiment with the unknown flavors. 

The menu arrived with the intriguing, yet alarming bolded words FAT IS FLAVOR. Pupils dilated and blood pumped through our veins as the food arrived.

The serial chef had boldly paired fatty ingredients with fresh treats from the ocean. Bone marrow, pork rinds or chicharron, and various salsas with mariscos from the Pacific coast. The combinations were exciting and the verdict- fearsomely good.

Plates were cleared and the evidence of a clandestine dinner wiped clean. Dessert arrived in small bowls with strawberry garnish. Sinking a spoon into Kranky-covered ice cream, then tasting a minty sensation turned out to be the perfect palette cleanser, although no one would forget what they had tasted that night. The final compliment to a dinner so good it should be illegal.

Following the meal and negotiations with this deranged artist of a chef, we were able to get away with copies of all his recipes, but with one condition: the name had to stay. It would remain MERCADO NEGRO, or else.

Enjoy one or a few of these mysterious yet delectable dishes of our Mercado Negro menu, on The Rooftop at LOOT.