We have been following one of Puerto Rico’s coolest chefs, Maria Mercedes Grubb, since long before Hurricane Maria caused mayhem, right in her native San Juan. Fresh off a Food & Wine feature, she’s getting more well-deserved attention than ever for her innovative food and community (re)building efforts.
Grubb kept her businesses at Gallo Negro in Santurce, San Juan, as functional as possible through months of having no power and difficult staffing, sourcing and surroundings. They have come out on the other side, rebuilding their neighbors’ lives as well with her Serve PR initiative toHer dishes marry fine dining concepts with effortless fusion of Puerto Rican and Italian, Japanese, and even TexMex foods.
The one dish we have the biggest crush on at the moment is her Pork Milanese with pea puree, preserved lemon and egg. It looks like a combination of tonkatsu and down home with the flare of a Michelin establishment.
The thick breaded pork cutlet has the perfect crispy crust, with a golden glow and a ready-to-pop egg on top dusted with chili flakes. Cutting a bit of the fatty pork with a smear of the vibrant green pea puree looks like the layered bite that every stoner craves.
Medical cannabis is allowed in Puerto Rico—and it also has reciprocity for out-of-state medical patients—so getting super-lit before indulging in the amazing offerings of Chef Grubb is highly recommended—high or no high.