Biography
Julian Medina, chef-owner of Toloache, Toloache 82, Toloache Thompson, Yerba Buena, Coppelia, and Tacuba Mexican Cantina Astoria and Hell’s Kitchen, has been creating refined Latin cuisine for over twenty years. Raised in Mexico City, Julian’s inspiration was the authentic home cooking of his father and grandfather. Training professionally in Mexico City, Julian was brought to New York City by Ch...READ MORE

Julian Medina, chef-owner of Toloache, Toloache 82, Toloache Thompson, Yerba Buena, Coppelia, and Tacuba Mexican Cantina Astoria and Hell’s Kitchen, has been creating refined Latin cuisine for over twenty years.
Raised in Mexico City, Julian’s inspiration was the authentic home cooking of his father and grandfather. Training professionally in Mexico City, Julian was brought to New York City by Chef Richard Sandoval; later Julian was appointed as Chef de Cuisine of Sandoval’s Maya, which earned two stars from the New York Times under Julian’s leadership. Julian enrolled in the French Culinary Institute, graduating with recognition in 1999. In 1999, Julian became Executive Chef of SushiSamba, a NYC Japanese-South American restaurant, and helped to open SushiSamba 7 and South Beach’s SushiSamba Dromo.

2003, Julian was appointed Corporate Chef of Sandoval’s Mexican restaurants. Julian’s direction garnered Sandoval’s Pampono two stars from the New York Times. In 2004 Julian became the Executive Chef of Zocalo.

August 2007 Julian opened the theatre-district gem, Toloache, the success of this first venture catalyzed the opening of seven more restaurants in nine years. He expanded the Toloache brand to include an ever popular Upper East Side Toloache 82 (2012) and Toloache Thompson (2013). Exploring all reaches of pan Latin cuisine, Julian opened the first Yerba Buena bistro in 2008 in the Lower East Side, and Yerba Buena Perry, West Village, in 2009. Both restaurants have been highly recognized. 2011, Julian presented the concept of a 24/7 Cuban diner to New York City with the whimsical Coppelia, offering both day and late night foodies authentic Latin fare and dessert favorites. Most recently, the chef has returned to his Mexican roots with the ceviche, taco and fruit vessel cockteles boasting cantina, Tacuba, its two locations are Astoria and Hell’s Kitchen.

Chef Julian has been feature in many publications, including the Men’s Journal, The New Yorker and New York Times. In 2010 Sam Sifton, famed New York Times food critic, gave Toloache one star along with an applauding review. In March 2011 Julian debuted on Iron Chef America: Mexican Chocolate Battle, other television appearances include the Today Show, CBS “The Dish”, and Beat Bobby Flay (guest judge). His Mexican Hanukkah and Mexican Passover menus have become a delighted New York tradition and receive continual praise each year.

Chef Julian continues to open new restaurants throughout New York City. He resides in Manhattan’s Upper East Side with his wife and daughter.

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More about Julian Medina
What is your favorite restaurant in NYC? Marea What is your ultimate meal? Tacos de Lengua at El Borrego Viudo in Mexico City What three things are always in your pantry? Valentina Hot Sauce, Maldon Sea Salt Flakes and Dijon Mustard If you weren't a chef, what would you be? Financial Analyst What is the best advice you have ever been given, and from whom? Stay humble, there is always room for improvement- my brother, Enrique Medina    
View Recipe

Tuna Tostada
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 crispy tostadas
6 oz. fresh yellowfin tuna in slices
2 tablespoons of chipotle mayo

For the Salsa:
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced jalapeño
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons yuzu juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Combine all of the ingredients.

Assemble the tostada by putting 1/2 a tablespoon down of chipotle mayo, then the slices of tuna on top and then the salsa on top of the tuna

Guacamole de Frutas

Chunky avocado with pomegranate seeds, mango, sweet onion, apple and habanero

Serves 4

2 Mexican hass avocados
2 tablespoons Spanish onion, diced
2 tablespoons mango, diced
2 tablespoons peach, diced
2 tablespoons apple, diced
½ teaspoon habanero salsa
1 teaspoon Thai basil, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
½ teaspoon lime juice
Kosher salt to taste

1. Scoop the pulp out of the ripe avocados into a bowl.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt. Mash the ingredients together, leaving it chunky and check the seasoning.
3. Serve with warm corn tortillas or chips.