Flavor Source

Nectar is having a June pop-up at Sub Rosa Bakery.

After years of working in upper-echelon American kitchens — from a private country club to a New York City hospitality group — Ecuadorian chef Pablo Corrales says he was ready to explore the flavors of his home. “I’m at a point [professionally] where I feel I can create my own concept and explore more of my own background,” says Corrales.

Corrales launched his Latin American pop-up, Nectar, in late 2023. “Nectar is essentially my own take on Latin flavor and cuisine,” says Corrales. “I look at the ingredients and techniques and try to put my own interpretation into them.”

Corrales moved to the states at 20 years old, starting out as a dishwasher at Midlothian’s Salisbury Country Club before catching the cooking bug and taking off to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America.

He moved back to the Richmond area in summer 2018 to work at (now-shuttered) tasting menu restaurant Longoven, “I really loved the concept,” says Corrales of Longoven.

Corrales says the name of his pop-up is inspired by the biodiversity of South America, “with nectar being the most important resource for pollinators to maintain that delicate balance.” All photos by Scott Elmquist

Nectar’s dishes, thus far, have been imbued with the thoughtful, elegant plating of Longoven — and the tantalizing flavors of a world away.

Corrales’ interpretation of Latin American cuisine has manifested in dishes as rich as beef tongue schnitzel, potatoes, peanut and spigarello and as bright as scallop, melon and Manzano pepper ceviche.

The chef has hosted two multi-course, prix-fixe dinners and two a la carte events in the past six months, collaborating with industry friends from The Jasper, Odyssey, Nokoribi and Natalie’s.

Nectar’s next pop-up is slated for Sunday, June 23 (time and ticket sales to be announced soon) at Sub Rosa. Corrales says the dinner at Sub Rosa will include four to five courses and will feature wine pairings from Second Bottle, with bottles for sale as well. He’ll also be introducing some home-made, non-alcoholic ferments for imbibing.

Powhatan Fine Chocolates will serve up sweets, and Corrales’ good friend Tiana Giron will join him in the kitchen. Chef Giron has her own Latin American pop-up in Los Angeles, with a menu highlighting street food like empanadas, tamales, tostadas and tortas.

As for the scope of his own menu, “It’s something I will continue to explore,” says Corrales.

The name of the pop-up mirrors Corrales’ infinite culinary possibilities. “It is inspired from the biodiversity of South America, with nectar being the most important resource for pollinators to maintain that delicate balance,” says Corrales.

“Nectar is truly a dedication to Latin America and as a chef I’ll always evolve and change as I discover new influences and new flavors.”

Follow Nectar on Instagram for the latest details on the Sub Rosa dinner; fill out this online form to be the first to hear about ticket sales.  

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