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Luis Bollo, chef of Salinas, serves simple yet inventive Spanish cuisine inspired by the culinary history and traditions of the Balearic Islands. Born and raised in San Sebastián, Spain, Bollo discovered his love for cooking at a young age. After completing his training, Bollo honed his culinary skills at various restaurants around the world.




How do you characterize your cuisine?

My cuisine can be characterized as one that focuses on the quality and freshness of ingredients, highlighted through measured technical interventions. My use of modern culinary techniques is not to create shock but to maximize the potential of ingredients.

As a Spanish chef trained at some of the most prominent restaurants in Spain (including Martin Berasategui and Koldo Royo), my cooking is shaped by the fundamental philosophies of the New Basque Cuisine that emerged in the 1980s. Thus, I never undermine traditional, authentic flavors but try to translate them with an unconventional combination of local, market-fresh ingredients.  In other words, although my gazpacho doesn't look like a replica of the traditional gazpacho — it has no bread and garlic, and appears yellow rather than red — when you try it, the flavor will remind you of the best of traditional gazpacho.

What region or ethnicity most influences your cooking?

I was born and raised in San Sebastian, Spain, which explains why my cooking is highly influenced by Basque cuisine. At Salinas, drawing on my experiences on Mallorca island, I accentuate the best qualities and aspects of Spanish-Mediterranean cuisine. My menu showcases a healthy combination of grains, fresh vegetables, and meat or fish. Also, one of the cultural and gastronomic benefits I like to bring to the table through Salinas' Balearic menu is the multicultural influence (Sephardic Jews, Arabs, and Christians) that are prominent in this region.

What is your signature dish?

I am a chef who doesn't believe in signature dishes. I believe in consistency and let others decide which they think is my signature dish. Furthermore, my menu changes seasonally.

What kind of food were you exposed to as a child?

It's not just a kind of food, but the entire cultural attitude towards food in Basque Country. I used to accompany my grandfather to traditional markets to get fresh ingredients and help him cook at sociedades gastronómicas to share the food and laughter with friends.

Have you ever lived or trained overseas? Where?

I was trained in Spain with renowned chefs and worked throughout Spain, Mexico, and the US.

Is there an exotic spice or ingredient that you particularly enjoy using?

Lately I enjoy working with lemon balm.

Does the design and style of your restaurant evoke a particular place? If so, where?

The three owners and I have worked and lived on the Balearic Islands. So the restaurant design, atmosphere, and music are influenced by the simple, easy-going, relaxed lifestyle on the islands.

When you cook for yourself, what do you make?

I try to sleep as much as I can, and let my wife do the cooking.  And she does it when I behave well.

What are some places you have visited for inspiration?

Italy, France, Germany, and Mexico.


What are your thoughts on global cuisine?

I am very open-minded and try everything and anything from other cultures, as long as they are fresh. Lately I have become more curious about the food from the Canary Islands. The island offers an interesting mix of European, African, and Latin American influences; many inhabitants went to Venezuela and Peru and returned to the islands.

What's the benefit of participating in New York Taste?

Getting to know what other chefs are doing and show what we're doing at Salinas.