When Cosme opened, Soto-Innes didn’t know who Pete Wells was. She wasn’t familiar with the James Beard Awards. This may seem a little far-fetched, but all you need to do is watch when she won Rising Star Chef of the Year at the 2016 James Beard Awards, and it’ll become perfectly clear that, yes, she most likely did not understand the sheer gravity of what winning a James Beard Awards meant. “I was hiding. I didn’t want to go on stage because I was so embarrassed,” she says of that evening. When she eventually went up to accept the award, “I yelled, ‘A huevo!’ which means, like, ‘Hell, yeah!’ in Spanish, but on the screen it said I was thanking my abuelo.”
Even now she doesn’t think much about the awards chase. She hasn’t even hung up the World’s 50 Best sign at Cosme yet. “[50 Best] has helped us get attention from talent, it has created opportunities for cooks to come forward,” she says. “But it’s just an opinion. It’s nice to have positive opinions.” She repeats: “But it’s just an opinion.”
Olvera and Soto-Innes are officially business partners now -- soon, they will have equal standing in their company, which includes Cosme in New York, an eventual Cosme in Los Angeles, and an all-day Mexican café called Atla in downtown Manhattan. It’s the kind of effortlessly cool breakfast place that serves bright chilaquiles divorciados alongside coconut yogurt housed in a chic ceramic bowl. Not even a year old, the place has already spawned copycats seeking to mimic the restaurant’s airy, gray-and-neon vibes.