About Nico Lopez
Nico Lopez is a Research & Development Chef for José Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup, focused specifically on culinary development for Mercado Little Spain, the new 35,000 square foot Spanish food hall in New York. In his role, Nico works on everything from menu development and recipe creation to procuring equipment, supplies, plates, and packaging for all aspects of the mercado. Prior to focusing on the launch of Mercado Little Spain, Nico worked in the R&D kitchen at ThinkFoodGroup, developing recipes for Jaleo and working with chefs from different cultures to expand his skillset and culinary knowledge. Nico began cooking professionally at 16, studying in Madrid and doing a stage in Zalacain, The Fat Duck in London, and later working with Paco Roncero in Madrid. During his time with Paco, Nico worked in the R&D department for La Terraza del Casino, helped develop and conceptualize a seasonal restaurant called Sublimotion in Ibiza, and opened Version Original in Bogota, Colombia. Nico stayed in Colombia for several years before moving to DC where he began at the St. Regis before joining ThinkFoodGroup. Though Nico is a native Spaniard, preparing for the debut of Mercado Little Spain has allowed Nico to expand and deepen his knowledge of Spanish cuisine and techniques, including extensive research about the country’s culinary history and the traditional ways of preparing classic dishes, many of which have regional variations.