OUT WITH THE NEW, IN WITH THE OLD!
13 Gypsies was born from a love of tradition.
With a heritage firmly rooted in Spain and dating back more than 35 years, 13 Gypsies strives to bring you a taste of true mediterranean flavors. As many restaurants push food innovation, we proudly work and strive to preserve traditional recipes and flavors before they are lost. Staying true to his roots, Chef Howard runs his kitchen with a passion for the simple and elegant food of the old world - passing on his love and passion to young new cooks.
ABOUT THE FOOD
We start each morning by making our own bread from scratch. All bread ingredients are mixed in bowls, kneaded and shaped by hand - we own no mixers. We make our own sausage, cheese, cured meats, pickled vegetables, spice blends, and fresh pasta. We use organic and imported ingredients, and cook everything as fresh as possible. Due to our approach to cookery, we do run out of menu items during a service period - it is first come, first eat!
ABOUT THE FAMILY
Growing up in the kitchen of Andalucian Chef Antonio Gomez, Chef Howard was born in to peasant food. Under the careful guidance of his mom (Chef Antonia, Sangria House - trained under Chef Gomez and countless Spanish grandmothers) Howard has learned to trust and love the integrity of ingredients. If you start with good ingredients, preparation is minimal and the end result is good, honest food.
Chef Howard has been in love with simple peasant food his entire life. Born and raised in Spain, it was a total cultural food shock to move to the U.S. - food was overdone, over thought, and over complicated. He has devoted the kitchen at 13 Gypsies to bringing his love of straight forward peasant food to Jacksonville.
In early 1999, Chef Howard got the chance to go back to Europe. He lived in Munich, Germany and spent every free moment travelling and eating food. It was during this trip that he met Chef Sergio of La Citta, that blessed him with a knowledge of how to treat pasta, and embrace the concept of minimal ingredients. With frequent visits to Italy on his weekends, his love of simple peasant food was born again.
Sous Chef Brian Moore began his kitchen career in the dish pit at 13 Gypsies. After showing an interest in cooking, he was slowly taught garde manger duties and eventually began working on the line. Wanting to experience different kitchens, he continued his training under Chef Chris Evans in a larger brigade style environment. Working in both kitchens exposed Brian to many different techniques and ways to approach ingredients. Sous Chef Brian now works full time at 13 Gypsies as Chef Howards right hand man and ensures continued excellence in his absence. Brian is also Chef Howards nephew.