TCB: Who inspired you to have interest in the culinary field?
CHEF: My grandmother Mercedes Limardo, who was an exceptional home cook, was always around me and took care of me. I was her little kitchen helper, doing simple things and tasting almost everything.
TCB: Did you face any difficulty in your career?
CHEF: It is like every other career, sometimes it is easy and sometimes hard, but when you love what you do so much it doesn’t matter how hard it gets, you have to push on every day.
TCB: Have you ever tried Pakistani cuisine? What’s your opinion about the Pakistani food and culture?
CHEF: Yes! I have had several varieties of Biryani , when I worked in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. All of them were delicious, made by Pakistani cooks. In my opinion, Pakistan’s food and culture has flavor and ancient knowledge because of all the influences from Central Asia. The food is in some ways related to, or reminds me of the food from my country, Venezuela. Pakistani food is savory, sweet and spicy at the same time, like most of the traditional Venezuelan dishes. They also use a lot of spices like cinnamon, cloves and raw sugar cane, “Gula Melaka”. I would love to try more of Pakistan’s food. !
TCB: Tell us about the first thing you ever made. How was it?
CHEF: It was like a delicious disaster! I remember trying to make spaghetti with tomato sauce when I was around 9 years old, I was alone in my house trying to remember the things I saw from my grand mother and well…. I forgot a little detail …..to put the spaghetti in boiling water! So you can figure how it went. It was a nice experiment for a 9 year old kid.
TCB: Who is your inspiration in the field?
CHEF: I get inspired all the time from several sources, I would say. Starting from people I admire (sometimes it could be chefs, artists, people that inspire others), books I have read, different cultures that I have observed, nature or just intuition and imagination.
TCB: Tell us about your future plans?
CHEF: My future plans include a serious mission to spread my “Latino” roots and culture through the food I create, as much as possible, because I believe that is the best way to feel fulfilled and to be proud of where I come from. All my restaurants are established according to that. My next project will open soon in Washington, D.C. and it will be a good example of what I love about the Latino culture.
TCB: What do you think, taste is in the hand of the one who cooks or in the recipe?
CHEF: For me, any recipe needs “soul”, if it does not then it will be just a copy. As human beings, we get many hits and misses, so that’s what makes us beautiful. On the other hand, a recipe should be very well written so everybody can make it even without any professional training.
TCB: Do you cook at home as well?
CHEF: Hahaha! Sometimes, just to please my friends or for my kids when they challenge me.
TCB: Pastry or Sorbet?
TCB: Frozen yoghurt or Ice cream?
CHEF: Ice cream.
TCB: Rice or Gravy?
CHEF: Both together, I love that.
TCB: Pizza or Burger?
TCB: Marco Pierre White or Jamie Oliver?
CHEF: Marco Pierre White.
TCB: Homemade food or restaurant food?
CHEF: Restaurant food with homemade recipes.