Located in the Palermo Chico neighborhood of Buenos Aires, La Cocina de Casa Cavia is a charming boutique house which celebrates architecture, books, food and flowers. Originally built in 1927 by Norwegian architect Alejandro Christophersen, the historic building is home to the best of the vibrant city’s architecture and it also includes a publishing house, bookstore and flower shop. Now entering its third successful year, Casa Cavia has recently announced the appointment of acclaimed chef Julieta Caruso as head of its newly expanded restaurant and kitchen. The LuxPad finds out more…
After nine years working alongside the world-renowned chef Andoni Luis Aduriz at the two Michelin star restaurant, Mugaritz, Julieta has returned to her home country of Argentina and brought her exemplary culinary skills to the team in Buenos Aires. “It was a big move having spent 13 years in Europe, and it was great to find people that want to make a change in Argentinean gastronomy” says Julieta, “I was excited to begin work at the restaurant. Success really depends on the team involved, and it felt very comfortable.”
In reference to Casa Cavia’s publishing house roots, Julieta’s conceptual new menu takes inspiration from a long list of classic books and authors from around the world. “Each dish contains a story. Each dish is a story,” said García Mosqueda. “At Casa Cavia we ask ourselves how are letters and food linked, what stories inspire dishes and what dishes inspire stories?”
Guests are encouraged to experience food in new and inventive ways. Each dish on the menu relates to a quote or excerpt from famous literature and includes a citric fungi soup inspired by Oliver Twist and chocolate cookies with dulce de leche inspired by an excerpt from Gone with the Wind. Drinks also form part of the experience and include wines, spirits and cocktails based on the preferred choices of famous authors.
“We wanted the restaurant to be more than about simply filling your stomach,” says Caruso. “People don’t just want to sit, eat and leave. At Casa Cavia there is the potential to make a meal so much more than that, and in the same way books can evoke feelings, so can food. It can surprise you; it can make you remember things from when you were young. Apart from being tasty, we want our menu to really stir people’s emotions.”
To accompany the new chef and menu, international design firm Kallos Turin have redesigned the kitchen, restaurant and bar area. Stephania Kallos and Abigail Turin have reworked the building so that it accommodates the restaurant and larger kitchen whilst staying true to the original design concept of preserving the intimate and residential feel of the property. “We always wanted it to feel like a residence that happens to contain a restaurant, publishing firm and bookshop within it, rather than a house that has been reworked to be a restaurant and publishing firm” says Kallos. “Achieving an almost familial connection between the architecture, the books and the gastronomy became critical,” adds Turin. “We wanted to blur the lines between the programs, so that the florists, publishers and chefs felt at home throughout the spaces.”
To accompany the new dining experience, ceramicist Natalia Rogers has created a handmade collection of tableware. Crafted from the same architectural materials that are used in the building’s structure including porcelain, glass, marble, bronze and terrazzo, each piece in the tableware range is designed to further enhance the dialogue of each dish. “We want Casa Cavia to be a place that gathers talents,” says García Mosqueda. “It’s a family business that creates ideas and tells stories through the kitchen, the architecture and, above all the people who inhabit them.”