Chef Guillermo Eleicegui has waited a long time to launch Parrilla con Amigos, his monthly grilling series at Galley, where he serves as executive chef—ever since he began working at Galley about a year and a half ago. We all know what got in the way of his plans last spring and summer, but now that he’s in the clear, his goal is for Parrilla con Amigos to be an ongoing series to which he invites area chefs to participate.
One of his restaurant’s defining features is the massive Grillworks grill—a contraption that gives the Argentinian chef a way to bring the slow cooking of his homeland to downtown West Palm Beach. The grill uses two techniques to cook the meat—a gentle smoking and slow cooking—because the meat does not come in contact with the fire.
“You will never see the fire touch the meat—in Argentina it’s about very slow cooking,” chef Guillermo tells me as he points to small droplets of rendered fat slowly dripping from a lamb shank wrapped in rosemary, which had already been hanging in the grill over hickory wood for three hours. “You see this? It’s like the meat is crying.”
Chef Guillermo, who is curating the full series, hosted a preview in late July to sample his smoked specialties. The evening began with an interactive cocktail demonstration, which allowed guests to craft their own red or white sangria with grilled fruits. Next came a welcome bite: a paper-thin slice of smoked scallop over a compressed ball of granny smith apple with yuzu jalapeño sauce, a sweet-spicy punch that prepared our palates for the flavors to come.
Chef’s grilled corn soup with goat cheese and smoked paprika—reminiscent of popcorn, in the best of ways—was a hit, as was his New York steak tataki topped with chimichurri aioli and crispy potato flakes. His grilling expertise isn’t limited to meats, of course—there was also a smoked eggplant spread served with za’atar oil and fresh-baked sesame bread.
Still, you can’t beat a high-quality cut cooked with care over several hours: a bone-in smoked hanging rack of lamb served with yogurt and pistachio dukkah competed with his slow-grilled Wagyu short rib as the main event. A simple berries-and-cream dessert rounded out the meal on a light note.
In the future, Eleicegui will join forces with a variety of local chefs for a dine-around experience themed around all types of cuisines. “For Parrilla con Amigos, which is ‘grilling with friends,’ my idea is to connect with different chefs and get together with different customers, different people, and show them a little bit of what we do,” he explains.
“The barbecues in Argentina, for us, are like a ceremony. It’s long—it’s four, five, sometimes six hours. The idea is to showcase a little bit of my culture and bring it here. The smoke that I do is a very gentle smoke. It’s not overpowering; it’s a delicacy and helps to get the meat super tender. The smoke you see penetrating the meat, you taste it later.”
The menu will change each month according to collaborations with different chefs—expect flavors from Mexico and India, for example, blending with his Argentinian style—as well as by season.
Future events will be ticketed at $75 per person, which includes seven courses with wine pairing and valet, as well as live music and an interactive dining experience with Chef Guillermo and guest chefs. Upcoming dates are as follows: August 18, September 22, October 20, November 17, and December 15. Each is on a Wednesday and starts at 6 p.m.
Galley is located poolside (with indoor and covered outdoor seating) at the Hilton West Palm Beach. For more information, visit galleywestpalmbeach.com.