What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
Well all throughout my childhood and my teenage years, my family ran a few restaurants in Barcelona. I have been always very enthusiastic about the culinary art, hence when I have turned 15, I started helping out my family at the restaurants.
I would say that it was simply how I initially started off, by doing the odd little things around the kitchen. Finally as my interest has consistently grown up in regards of culinary field and Chefs, I have decided to start a traineeship as pastry Chef. However, with more maturity, I have chosen to develop my knowledges and get closer to the business area. Hence, I have diverted my skills from pastry to the hot kitchen side.
At the age of 20 I started travelling around the world as my ultimate goal was to attempt to learn more and broaden my horizon in this field. Finally, having worked all over the world, here I am.
What would you say has inspired your cooking the most?
I would definitely say that the sea is a real source of inspiration which provides me power and creativity.
Secondly, my diners give me the wings for an incessant improvement of my creativity day by day. Also, I must admit that my way to cook is a real personal interpretation. Hence, any comment or criticism a customer might mention, I usually take it to heart but always on a positive way. My only goal is their satisfaction and to make them happy with the dishes I create. When I receive any comment or encouragement from them, it provides me the strength to do even better and try to go always higher.
Describe your culinary style…
I can simply say that my cuisine is not Spanish, French, Japanese or from any particular country. My cuisine is a personal interpretation and a crossbreeding of my culinary experiences around the world.
What would you say is the main focus for the restaurant?
I personally believe that one of the main focus is based on the trust and estimation granted by my valued diners and brigade.
What can guests look forward to in terms of dishes and concept of the food?
My gastronomic approach and philosophy is based on a personal interpretation of my culinary journey around the world as such as a Nomad discovery menu (i.e Yellow fin tuna tartar from the Caribbean, Textures of Venison from New Zealand, Royale of Foie Gras from France, Palamos prawns and watermelon from Catalonia, Seared Hakkaido scallops from Japan, Black Angus Beef, Maldivian Lobster from Maldives and Scotland, Black chocolate combination from Belgium and Africa).
What do you think makes a restaurant successful?
The team spirit and cohesion as much as a dedicated passion are part of a successful key. I would also add that it starts from the lower staff to the leader (from the Kitchen Porters to the General Manager)
What are your most indispensable ingredients?
Definitely cheese for my personal cuisine! Otherwise I would say Umami for my professional use.
What kind of experience do you aim to give guests at your restaurant?
Personally I truly believe that the main aim is to be able to welcome back on a regular basis my diners. I really want them to feel like at home and give them the wish to come back every day. It is a bit like feeling part of a family. I do not wish to be a “1 day experience” restaurant.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?
I would probably advise to be less stubborn and narrow minded.Also, maybe be more attentive and focus at work rather having wild party (Smile)
What’s next for you/What other projects do you have lined up?
I have in mind a first project at Constance Halaveli Maldives with our Sushi Bar Kaika. I am planning to elaborate a very personal tasting menu called “By the Sea”. The idea is to combine Japanese and Spanish products and maximize the umami’s flavors by using only seasonal products. The concept is to create a different menu each morning which will be served for dinner time. Therefore, we will offer every day new dishes on the menu in a daily basis which means a lot of creativity (for information, only 15 seats available).
Secondly, my other project is to implement a special menu “The Raw” which will be served at the counter kitchen of Jing, our fine dining restaurant.
This menu will be tailor-made with the best products and the concept will be simply based on applying less heat to the ingredients. By using this method, it will allow the product to be served in its purest form and dominate in order be the center of the nutritious natural flavor. The seating capacity should be approximately 10 seats for this special experience.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Catalan anchovies and garrotxa cheese sandwich. A real childwood memory for me!
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
Mibu, Tokyo. (Chef Hiroshi Ishida)
Alifu Alifu Atoll
Republic of Maldives