Chef Alan Gotay
You never work a day in your life if you love what you do. Some people have never been fortunate enough to find their love but I have been fortunate enough to find it not only once, but twice. My two passions as an adult have been boxing and cooking - and one has led me to the other.
I started my boxing career at the age of sixteen. I fought as an amateur throughout high school and then turned professional at the age of twenty two. During my professional career I had to teach myself about nutrition, cooking, and eating healthy. During that time my thirst for knowledge grew in both boxing as well as cooking, ultimately leading me to culinary school. I attended Star Career Academy in Syosset, New York with two goals in mind: to learn as much as I could in the art of cooking and to graduate at the top of my class. I accomplished both.
I began in the restaurant industry at the age of fourteen working at McDonald’s. I then went on to work at Friendlys for seven years. During that time I was exposed to all the facets of the restaurant business: waiter, line cook, food ordering, and assisted with management as needed. I was lucky enough to have had an excellent general manager who instilled valuable skills that I continue to use to this very day. I have also worked at a number of restaurants on Long Island and Manhattan. It has been my distinct honor to have worked with world renowned chefs Michelin star Chef Michael Psilakis and celebrity Chefs Michael Ginor and Bobby Flay. My last position was at Armani Ristorante working as a line cook under well known, Italian born Chef Michele Brigioni.
I believe that real living lies not in the destination of where you are headed, but in the journey that leads you there. All of my experiences have led me to the current point in my life of pursuing my goal of owning my own bistro. Being of Cuban/Puerto Rican heritage, I have always admired the culture, food, and vitality of its people. The food has always symbolized comfort for me and I love being able to express my creativity through cooking. With that in mind, I have created an environment that captures my love of cooking, passion of culture, and creativity of food in my own bistro “Babalu NY”. It's like coming home every day.
I wouldn’t be able to do this without my family, friends, supporters, and all the people that have been a part of helping me grow into the man I am today. For that, I am truly grateful and forever thankful.
Welcome to BabaluNY!
Babalú is recognized worldwide as Desi Arnaz's song in "I Love Lucy". What people didn't know was that Babalu Aye is one of the deities of the Yoruba religion. In Santeria, Babalu-Aye is among the most popular orishas. The African and Catholic religions combined and Babalu-Aye became the African name for Saint Lazarus, known by Cubans for his miraculous cures, prosperity and health. On December 16, eve of San Lazaro (Dec 17), thousands of Cubans come to his sanctuary 30 kilometers southwest of Havana, to worship. The little church, little more than a hermitage, is in the town of Rincón.