As is the case in any field where an individual demonstrates an area of expertise or even interest, this area of interest can become what that individual is known for, whether they like it or not. This is especially true of chefs who pioneer certain ingredients or techniques. Martin Picard of Pied de Cochon in Montreal will always be known as “that foie gras guy”, just as Ferran Adria will always be known as the pioneer of molecular gastronomy.
Based on the reviews I had read of Coca (783 Queen Street West), and the general trend of tapas (or small plates, if the restaurant isn’t serving specifically Spanish dishes), I had always assumed that Chef Nathan Isberg was one of those chefs who was all about the meat. I’d actually never eaten at Coca because I assumed the menu was heavily meat-reliant. So I was surprised to run into Isberg at the Green Carpet Series – An Evening of Local Cuisine last month, standing proudly behind a table of vegetarian tapas.