Chef Ramses Alvarez to Open Dia Bom Fusion Concept at Crossroads Collective
Starting Monday, January 17, there will be a whole new concept to experience at the Crossroads Collective, 2238 N. Farwell Ave.
Dia Bom (which means “have a nice day” in Portuguese) is the name of the innovative fusion concept led by chef Ramses Alvarez, who will present a menu combining modern Latin American cuisine with Japanese kushiyaki (kebabs, grilled meats) and Chinese bao (Dumplings) ).
Alvarez is a seasoned chef who attended culinary school in Mexico City, launched his career in Chicago, and made his debut in Milwaukee working with Sanford’s Sandy D’Amato and Coquette Cafe.
Her resume includes work with restaurants Bartolotta, Mason Street Grill, Water Street Brewery, and La Merenda. Most recently, Alvarez worked as a consultant and private chef after being put on leave from his role as executive chef of Bistro 333 at the Hyatt Regency hotel.
âI am very fortunate to have taken off my private chef business,â says Alvarez. âI cook the food I love and it gave me the opportunity to be very creative. But there is something that I miss about working in a restaurant.
Fusion, Ramses says, is in his blood. In fact, the Dia Bom concept is driven by some of his early experiences as a chef, as well as the foods he has had the privilege of cooking throughout his career.
âWhen I was working with Sandy at Coquette, we did different specials for the month; the dishes would come from different places like Korea or Mexico, âhe says.
“It was an inspiration to me. We all had to research the cultures and cuisines we were presenting. Sandy was telling us about his travels and we were trying to showcase items indigenous to the area.”
This knowledge stayed with him. As he worked for different restaurants and traveled alone he drew inspiration from other chefs and restaurant experiences and the techniques and flavor profiles of these foods became part of his repertoire.
âWhen cooking food around the world, it’s important that you respect the fundamentals and where that food comes from,â he says. âSo many foods have origins elsewhere. The bollilo roll used for tortas in Mexico is an influence from France. The French choux pÃ¢tÃ© used for the cream puffs is the same dough as that used for the churrosâ¦ ”
Examples of the fusion he gathered for the Dia Bom menu include kushiyaki dishes like lobster rangoon enchilada (lobster, red mole, queso crema, and tortilla); Korean Shortrib (gochujang and beer braised ribs with kewpie coleslaw and peppers); Tomato and Lemongrass Togarashi Crusted Zucchini; and and a Chicken Mole Skewer, which incorporates a mole recipe that Alvarez says he’s been making since he was 18 or 19.
Meanwhile, the bao are prepared with garnishes including chorizo ââ(with onion, queso fresco, yuzu avocado); chicken in red curry (with shishitos and lemongrass); and ponzu prawns with tomatoes and poblanos.
âIt’s about having fun and bringing love and passion to every plate,â says Alvarez. âI have fun playing with some of my favorite flavors and techniques, and I think guests will have fun dining at Dia Bom. I mean, everything is more fun when it’s on a skewer.
Dia Bom will not be the last concept unveiled by Alvarez either. Over the next year, Alvarez says he has plans for two more concepts: one at the Flour & Feed Marketplace in Bay View and the other at the Zocalo Food Park.
You can follow Dia Bom on Facebook.