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Fresh Flavors: New Hotel Andaluz chef revamps menus

Hotel Andaluz has acquired a new executive chef, and just one month in, Marc Quiñones has rolled out completely new menus for its restaurant and bar.

Quiñones, who has headed popular restaurants in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, has taken over executive chef duties at the hotel’s MÁS Tapas y Vino and Ibiza rooftop bar and patio, as well as its banquet catering.

“It’s just exciting to be here,” Quiñones said. “I’m thrilled to be here. We have a really fantastic team here. Our beverage program is second to none. I feel as if I am where I was always meant to be. My entire career has led me to this point.”

The new menus, which roll out April 11, are Spanish-inspired. They are “contemporary and modern” but celebrate flavors of Spain and the Mediterranean, according to Quiñones.

“One of the dishes that I’m very excited about is going to be our Iberian black pig,” he said . “It’s a secreto cut. It’s actually called secreto because the cut of the meat is hidden inside the shoulder of the pig. It’s honestly the best pork that I’ve had in my entire life, and I’m really thrilled to introduce it here in Albuquerque here at MÁS. … It’s highly prized in Spain. It’s kind of the cuts of all cuts. You’re going to love it, and I’m serving it with some caramelized onions, toasted sourdough with some fresh thyme and oregano oil. It’s easily my favorite tapa on the menu.”

Quiñones is also proud of his vegan dish on the Ibiza menu.

“Also a dish that I think is going to be a hit is vegan for all our vegan friends out there,” he said. “It’s going to be vegan Buffalo wings. So basically I’m going to create a vegan dumpling and I’m going to fry it crispy and toss it in my own homemade Buffalo sauce. It’s a way for vegans to enjoy like a chicken wing flavor without the chicken.”

Ibiza has plenty to offer for late-night appetites. Ibiza’s mixologists are the best Quiñones has worked with, he said. They also inspired him to up his game when it came to creating his menu, he said.

“We’re going to have really tasty bar food,” Quiñones said. “We’re going to have 36-hour short-rib egg rolls with green chile lo mein. We’re also doing a very juicy brisket burger with a housemade milk bun with local cheddar from Tucumcari, New Mexico, and we’re also going to have the most fantastic garlicky steak sandwich with skirt steak that’s going to be out of this world.”

For bigger appetites, MÁS offers large-format plates that include a Newport bone-in rib-eye steak, 36-hour sous vide Buffalo short ribs, Chilean sea bass and Colorado lamb chops.

Quiñones finds inspiration from his travels.

“Whenever I travel, whenever I go out to eat, you know, I also do consulting work out in Los Angeles,” he said. “I always go out to eat, and I see what’s trending. Whenever I’m writing the menu, I try to figure out what’s not being done in the city so I can have a chance to introduce it and get people excited about trying new flavors and new items. I do a lot of research just eating, reading and tasting as much as I can to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening.”