Photo Credit: Peter Pioppo

Alex Ureña
37 E 28th St
New York, NY 10016
(212) 213-2328

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Alex Ureña
UREÑA | New York

Alex Ureña's culinary roots were planted even before he left the Dominican Republic at the age of 17. With his grandfather a farmer, his mother an avid cook, and his father the butcher for Charlie Palmer at The River Café in New York, it made perfect sense that Ureña would embark on his own culinary journey. In New York, he began his career with Charlie Palmer, spent seven years with David Bouley, and travelled to Europe to work with Ferran Adrià and Roger Vergé. After his Executive Chef positions at Dan Barber's Blue Hill as well as Marseille, Ureña went on to showcase the culmination of his international experience at Suba on the Lower East Side. In 2005 he opened his own restaurant, Ureña, focusing on accessible but refined modern Spanish cuisine. The contrasting styles of his stellar mentors are thoughfully integrated in his well composed dishes, marked by striking presentations and unusual ingredient combinations.


Salt Cured Tuna with Caviar
Chef Alex Ureña of Ureña - New York
Adapted by

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 pound tuna
  • 12 ounces kosher salt
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 stem lemongrass, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons dry gin
  • 2 ounces caviar

    Chorizo Aïoli:
  • 1 piece of soft chorizo, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp of Sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

For the Tuna:
Mix salt, zests, black peppercorns, coriander seeds and lemongrass together. Place a generous layer of the mix on a piece of plastic wrap, drizzle half of the gin on top. Place tuna on top of this and cover with the rest of the salt mix. Drizzle with rest of gin. Cover very tightly. Refrigerate tuna for about 5 ½ hours. Remove from salt, rinse off excess. Rub tuna loin in oil, to make sure it doesn’t dry out. When ready to serve, thinly slice tuna, garnish with chorizo aioli and caviar.

For the Chorizo Aïoli:
Lightly sauté chorizo. Then puree with ½ cup of oil. When chorizo puree is cool, add the eggs, garlic, sherry vinegar then slowly pour in oil to emulsify. Blend until you obtain a mayonnaise consistency.

Wine Pairing:

Steen, Swartland Winery, Malmesbury, 2005

   Published: September 2006