Chef Andrés García opens up about his passion for gastronomy in this exclusive Q&A
Meet the master chef at La Casona STK. He took some time out of his very busy kitchen to share a little about himself with members.
Tell us a little bit about your career path?
I was born in Chihuahua but soon after my parents moved to Mexico City where I spent most of my life. When I was 14, my dad wanted to teach me how to make money and he started teaching me how to do many things, including cooking, and with that I started a business selling paella on weekends. After a while I told my father that I wanted to study gastronomy and he told me that it was just a hobby and not a real job. I ignored that and ventured into the world of gastronomy anyway.
Unable to start college on time, I took courses and started working at a bistro cafeteria. This fed my curiosity and ambition to progress and learn more. From there I went to work at a hotel as a kitchen assistant in Mexico City. As I gained more experience, I moved into different positions at hotels and restaurants, advancing all the time. I had the opportunity to work with and learn from many leading chefs and participated in national and international culinary competitions. Always trying to improve, I continued taking courses and I received a special certificate as maître de cuisine.
Now I am 34 years old and have extensive experience in the area of gastronomy. I am very passionate about what I do. I have found a very fulfilling career doing what I love and my father is proud of me.
When did your passion for the world of gastronomy begin?
My passion began when I first heard about the French chef, Thierry Blouet. I read many articles about him and I was fascinated. It became my biggest goal to dedicate myself to learning not just how to cook paella, but how to create culinary masterpieces like chef Thierry.
What inspires you?
I have to admit that it is my ego. I am dedicated to the art of cuisine and I pay attention to what other chefs are doing. The thrill of competition inspires me a lot and challenges me to push myself to be better, to experiment with different ingredients and techniques.
Do you have a particular cooking style that defines you?
French cuisine is the base of all the kitchens and Mexican cuisine is where my roots began. Combining elements of both culinary traditions resulting in a gourmet fusion is the basis for my style of cooking.
How does it feel to be the master chef in a great hotel like Villa del Palmar Cancun?
It fills me with pride. I am very grateful to everyone here for all the support they have given me. I have very high expectations of myself and working for La Casona STK feels like a great achievement.
Even when this is your passion it must be exhausting to work, what do you do to revitalize yourself?
Knowing that everything is perfect in the kitchen and that our guests can enjoy an extraordinary culinary experience is what revitalizes me.
What inspired you to come to work at Villa del Palmar Cancun?
I heard about its great reputation and gourmet cuisine. I knew that I could align my personal goals with the goals of the company. Here they allow me to have complete creative freedom in my kitchen and that is important to me. Mexican cuisine has always been well-known but many people think of it as just tacos and tortillas. I am sure that soon everyone will be talking about Mexican gastronomy and I want to be here when that happens.