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Latin Flavor Exploration Chef Interview Series

The Latin Flavor Exploration Chef Interview Series is a part of a larger initiative, Sabor In America — created by Symrise's Marketing and Consumer Insights team — which focuses on the impact of Latinos and Latino culture on mainstream America. See what each of the six chefs we interviewed had to say and click their respective links to learn even more!

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Latin Flavor Exploration Chef Interview Series

  1. 1. Latin Flavor Exploration CHEF INTERVIEW SERIES
  2. 2. Rodolfo Cuadros, Carnivale Jesus Delgado, Tanta Adolfo Garcia, La Boca; A Mano; Gusto Tim Hockett, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Alejandro Morgan, Lolinda Roberto Santibañez, La Botaneria; Fonda Latin Flavor Exploration FEATURED CHEFS
  3. 3. Rodolfo Cuadros Chef Cuadros earned a culinary degree from Johnson and Wales and went on to delight diners at restaurants globally. He’s an expert in the nuances and ingredients of Latin American cuisine which he adapts to create unique, Pan Latin dishes at Carnivale. What are some of the ingredients or dishes you wish were available here in the states? “…Macha, which is traditional in Chile. It is similar to clam but macha tend to be a little bigger than surf clams. Then there’s… ciampa (found in Chile and Argentina) that grows in woody areas close to shores. It’s a mix between a morel and a black trumpet with earthy tones and a woody flavor. It grows to a very large size too. Click here to read Rodolfo's full interview.
  4. 4. Jesus Delgado Jesus Delgado… maintains a simple and traditional food philosophy, letting the flavors of his ingredients shine. Collaborating with well-known South American Chef Gastón Acurio, Delgado focuses on iconic Peruvian flavors, particularly in ceviche and other seafood-centric plates, created with fresh fish delivered daily. Delgado also crafts lamb, beef, and poultry dishes which highlight the multiculturalism and biodiversity of his native country. Have you noticed any original Latino ingredients or flavors popping up in mainstream U.S. cuisine? “Well, it’s clear that Latino type grains such as quinoa/kiwicha have caught on as well. We serve a quinoa polenta with our braised lamb specialty at Tanta that is very popular.” Click here to read Jesus' full interview.
  5. 5. Adolfo Garcia Chef Adolfo has brought a new level to traditional Creole specialties by imparting them with a creative Latino touch that relies on his Panamanian heritage. La Boca, a Mano, and Gusto are favorite dining places for locals who have a myriad of excellent restaurants to choose from, but who return to Adolfo’s haunts over and over again. How do you believe Latinos are influencing the American food scene today? “The diversity and new choices that the Latino population have brought to the American table is undeniable. Salsas from Mexico are probably the best and most evident example. The Caribbean brought in the plantains and yucca – which we see more and more in mainstream applications.” Click here to read Adolfo's full interview.
  6. 6. Tim Hockett Tim Hockett drives the culinary creations of 13 restaurants, including Nacional 27 and Tallboy Taco, both known for their Latino menu items. The challenges of Tim’s early college basketball career impacted his oversight of LEYE kitchens, which he sees linked by their “addictive intensity and adrenaline rush that it takes to do the job right.” How did you become a specialist in Latino cuisine given your heritage is not Latino? “…Growing up in the 80s, the Latino culture was only slightly familiar with reference to typical refried beans, enchiladas, and Mexican restaurants. I have a passion for flavor and for freshness – for taking something authentic and making it bold and better, reflecting the local ingredients and the surrounding culture.” Click here to read Tim's full interview.
  7. 7. Alejandro Morgan Alejandro is the Executive Chef at Lolinda, an Argentinean inspired steakhouse. In his rooftop restaurant, Chef Morgan and his staff offer Costa Rican favorites and popular choices from other Latin American countries – all with a modern flair, but deliciously authentic. Can you tell us about some of the ingredients and foods from your youth in Costa Rica? “In Latin America in general, we are accustomed to using tropical ingredients and spices like achiote and annatto. We don’t feature rice and beans much but we translate its flavors into other things like a bean stew. It’s the same with plantains. We try to offer what is comfortable eating for Latinos, what they would be accustomed to eating in their homes.” Click here to read Alejandro's full interview.
  8. 8. Roberto Santibañez Roberto Santibañez is the chef and owner of two NYC restaurants, La Botaneria and Fonda. The teacher, author, and award winning chef was raised in Mexico City and trained in Paris at the renowned Le Cordon Bleu culinary school... Zagat has cited his expertise as living up to the “gold standard for upscale Mexican dining.” How does your heritage influence your cuisine? I was born and raised in Mexico City and grew up in a family of great cooks. I never wanted to do anything else but cook and I was sent to culinary school when I finished college. I went to France and studied at Le Cordon Bleu and then lived in Paris for a little while and went on to England, but always I missed my flavors. So I went back to Mexico and that’s all I did was focus on those flavors. Click here to read Roberto's full interview.
  9. 9. A content platform with daily updates and a weekly newsletter full of information, innovation, and inspiration for food, beverage, and consumer trends. Topics include: events, savory, beverage, sweets, health & wellness, and culinary chronicles. in-sight.symrise.com INFORMATION, INNOVATION, INSPIRATION