Chef Seamus Mullen of Tertulia - Biography

New York, NY

April 2012

Growing up on an organic farm in Vermont, Seamus Mullen was mucking stalls, butchering lamb, and tasting his first—unforgettable—truffle with one of his grandmothers at an early age. And while he worked at local restaurants through high school, it was a senior year trip to northern Spain that solidified Mullen’s career-defining obsession with Spanish cooking.

Mullen didn’t enter the restaurant life full time until after college, where he studied Spanish literature and learned the language; he took another educational trip to the country before graduating in 1996. Mullen first worked in San Francisco, where he learned vital lessons about local produce, followed by Tabla and Crudo in New York City. Unsatisfied with his knowledge of Spanish culture and cuisine, Mullen took a position at Mugaritz, arguably one of the best restaurants in the world, followed by positions at Barcelon’as Abac and Alkimia where Mullen honed his knowledge of Catalonian cuisine.

After two years, Mullen returned to New York with a rounded knowledge of Spanish cuisine. He took a sous chef position at Brasserie 8½ and helped open Boqueria in 2006 (earning plaudits for the restaurant’s modern take on Catalan cuisine). He finally struck out on his own in 2011 with Tertulia and a menu dedicated to the sustainable cuisine of the Asturias region on Spain, an homage to Mullen’s years of culinary travel. Rounding out a very good year, Mullen published his first cookbook, Hero Food, in 2012, and was a finalist on “The Next Iron Chef.”