Celebrity owners; A-list clientele; a new opening on the holiday island of Ibiza.

Executive Chef Nacho Chicharro from Tatel restaurants certainly has a lot on his plate!

 

He took some time out of his hectic schedule to talk to us about his influences, his cooking style and the day-to-day challenges of his role…

You work hard to make sure your menus are authentically Spanish. What is your main source of inspiration?

Nacho:
I look to the past. Old recipes from my grandma. She was a really great cook and I have many happy memories of her kitchen, cooking together, stirring the pot.

What main challenges do you face now there are three Tatel restaurants – Miami, Ibiza and Madrid?

Nacho:
The main challenge is to make sure they all have the same ambience, and of course that the food is the same, the same quality. It can be complicated, because it is not always easy to get the same products in Miami that we find easy to source in Madrid?

What is it like to cook for the famous faces that come to the restaurants?

Nacho:
For me, all customers are the same!

What I mean, and the most important thing, is that all of our customers go away happy after eating at Tatel, whichever restaurant they have visited.

Going forward, through 2018 and beyond, is there anything that you think will have an impact on your menus?

Nacho:
2018 is again going to be a year of hard work for us! We have two more new openings, in L.A. and Philadelphia. We will do all we can to make sure that the food will be at the same level as our existing restaurants, both in quality and style.

 

Service at Tatel, Madrid
Interior of Tatel, Madrid

 

What are your essential ingredients?

Nacho:
Traditional Spanish cuisine has to start with ‘sofrito’, fried slowly together with a sound that we call ‘chup chup’ in Spanish.

(Sofrito, used as a base in many Spanish dishes, normally includes tomatoes, onions, peppers, paprika, garlic and olive oil.)

What is the strangest ingredient you have used?

Nacho:
I don’t use anything unusual or weird in my kitchen! We cook simply with no unnecessary additions or embellishments.

What advice would you give to young chefs today who hope to make it big?

Nacho:
Always look forward. You should set yourself small, attainable goals, and strive hard to achieve them before you even think about the next one. In this profession, daily work, perseverance and self-discipline are fundamental qualities for development.