Soft shell crab isn’t the first thing you expect to find on a Mexican restaurant’s menu, but Cosme is where tacos and guacamole clichés come to die. The New York City restaurant’s young chef Daniela Soto-Innes was working at Enrique Olvera’s famed Mexico City restaurant Pujol a few years back and was planning to move to New York to look for work when the famed chef suggested she take on the task of opening his U.S. debut. She was all of 24 when Cosme debuted to rave reviews, and now, just two years later, it’s looked at as one of the leading restaurants in the city not only for inventive Mexican cuisine but for envelope-pushing cooking of any kind. That’s a tribute to the ever-moving, always smiling Soto-Innes, who first learned to appreciate food as a child growing up in Mexico City and who would serve two key stints in Texas — first as a culinary student in Austin, then as a chef at Chris Shephard’s Underbelly in Houston — before her career path went full throttle. It was in Houston that she developed her appreciation for soft shell crab, which swims into the latest episode of New Chefs Rising on a lake of tantalizing mole. Watch as Soto-Innes channels her multicultural background to create another of her signature dishes.
Cosme, 35 E. 21st St., New York City, 212-931-9659,