Tableside with Living Breathing Kitchen’s Robert Castañeda

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Illustration by Chris Danger

Robert Castañeda, a Los Angeles native, helped popularize the pop-up restaurant concept on the West Coast. Now the chef has landed in Cincinnati, where he’s hosting weekly themed meals at 3 Points Urban Brewery.

What inspired you to start doing these pop-ups?

I’m one of [a group of] five chefs in L.A. that started the pop-up phenomenon…. We were all trying to figure out how to get more exposure and do stuff that we loved to do instead of being restricted to a restaurant or entity. Pop-ups are a thing where I can do whatever I want without any boundaries. I push the envelope with the molecular gastronomy in an environment or place where you wouldn’t normally get that type of food.

What can people expect when visiting your pop-ups, and where can you usually be found?

I post everything on Instagram…. We have residency at 3 Points on Wednesdays and Sundays. On Sunday we have brunch, and on Wednesday we just do whatever we want. Recently we had a taco night, and before that we had a Caribbean food night.

What are your goals for the future?

There’s a couple of things I would love to open. One’s an Old World Mexican cuisine theme, traditional Mayan and Aztec dishes—not your typical taco and quesadilla. The other is a Caribbean concept. I’m working with someone to do one of those or Thai. I’m kind of hoping to elevate the food scene in this city. That’s why I’m here.

Living Breathing Kitchen, @lbkthepopup

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