The multi-cultural background of Paul Nuño, executive chef of SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant, is compatible with the diverse culinary culture in San Francisco and Silicon Valley he calls a “melting pot.” The classically French-trained, family-inspired chef brings his rich experience—along with some serious chops sharpened by working at Michelin-star restaurants—to his current kitchen. At SP2 there is a modern yet casual and personal cuisine where “the vibe, the food, and the drinks are a harmony waiting to be experienced.”
Harmony is often achieved by combining “ingredients that don’t usually go together to make something surprisingly unique,” says the chef. Such is exemplified by his Highland Park pairing—Gulf Prawns, lightly smoked with almond wood, and marinated in Harissa and Highland Park. Cooked to perfection, the prawns are served on a bed of cous cous with a cucumber emulsion, lightly blanched, and peeled toybox cherry tomatoes marinated in a shiso oil and yuzu vinaigrette. The dish draws its “wow factor” from the light smoking of the prawns as well as its infusion in Highland Park, which creates complementary flavor profiles. Pointing out its notes of citrus, vanilla and warm spices and nuttiness, “Highland whisky and the smokiness from the prawns is a match made in heaven,” says Nuño.
“Highland Park reminds me of my mom’s spiced friendship cake. It was a 30-day process of fruit fermenting that produced the most moist, heavenly, aromatic cake with warm spices, essence of vanilla, lemon zest, and peaches. Something just as heavenly as Highland Park.”
“A Wild Harmony” is brought to life through a joint venture between Highland Park, an award-winning single malt Scotch whisky that hails from Scotland’s Orkney Islands, and acclaimed restauranteurs in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Inspired by Highland Park, these gourmands created elevated and surprising culinary pairings to amplify the distinct flavor of the whisky. The chefs use the finest and freshest local ingredients to craft cuisine in their signature styles, which are then paired with the whisky’s rich combination of smoky and sweet flavors to achieve a harmonious crescendo. Highland Park shares the chefs’ admiration for unique yet flavorful combinations that result in exquisite pairings for connoisseurs of good taste. To learn more about Highland Park and where to buy your own bottle, visit HERE.