ENRIQUE LIMARDO – EXECUTIVE CHEF AT ALMA COCINA LATINA IN BALTIMORE

I was very wild in my young age, I try almost every drug possible, and I get over it, but now after good and. As experiences I feel very bless and happy because I had been so lost to the path and I took so many different ways that put me in the right way today.

Can you tell me about your day at work ??

I usually work between 10 to 14 hours 6 days a week. I spend around 1 to 2 hours every day doing brain storm about creating new dishes, thinking about products, roots, tradition and modernity. In my restaurant I usually do all the desserts because as a cook I enjoy a lot to play in calm with my sweet side. As a executive chef I have to be involve with the food cost and management so I have 30 minutes meeting every day with my two managers and my Sous-chef to planning the day and solving the regular issues like schedules, menus, specials during the week and some changes. Also every day I check with my sous chef the entire quality of the food , I mean item by Item that are more than 200 to be sure that all flavors are perfect.

What was the first dish that you’ve done as a chef ?

Well this is a though question, because I consider my self as a cook, so since I’m a professional cook there are so many dishes that I feel so proud of it most of them are from very traditional Venezuelan cuisine but always putting my touch. The most important dish I have made and transform during the years is “Pastel de Chucho” (that is a skate fish stew made in layers with sweet plantain and fresh cheese) this one is a signature and very popular in the eastern shore of Venezuela.

Who is the model for you to follow ?

First of all, God, my father and my mother, then as a professional the most excepcional chef I ever worked before and someone that I admire so much is “Joan Roca and his Family”.

Do you have your dream place where would you like to work ?

Every single place that I have been working in the past was a dream because I always work with Love and passion in all proyect I belong, for me is the only way you can do better things every day and better than yesterday. Of course I have in my mind a dream-place a Perfect place with the perfect team and I’m working very hard now to get there.

Do you cook at home ?

Hahahaha ! Some time just for my kids, family and friends.

What would you prepared for me in 10 minutes … i mean some food 😉 ?

I will prepare an “Arepa” with caramelized ham, Gouda cheese and a fry egg.

What would like to have as last meal in life ?

I would have my grandmother put in life again and she can prepare me one of her delicious dishes from my country.

What flavours you are most faithful ?

Sweet and sour is one of my favorite (like passion fruit and coconut) also I truly believe in sweet-savory-spicy (like a sea bass ceviche mixed with purple sweet potato and Merken) others that I used to are like cilantro, cloves, all spice, cinnamon and anis.

What do you think about current trends in gastronomy ?

I think the future of Gastronomy will be to look back to their own roots and traditions, to respect the products you can get using the right technique in the right dishes, and I don’t believe just in estétic the most important thing is have to be a great flavor and experience.

What was the most important moment in Your professional chefs life ?

There are so many right moments in every chef life, that’s bring me here at this point now…… so now is the most important moment in my career.

Do you want to make your children have gone in Your footsteps / chefsteps ?

Yes, why not ? Is a decent life, has a little of every thing, if you work hard, you can travel around the world, meet a lot of nice and important people, make people happy and the most important you should use your heart and your soul to express your self.

Private lives there ? How it looks like ?

Well that’s interesting ! Jejejej ! When I finish at work around midnight I go to my place and to make my mind relax I use to Paint and play guitar until 4 am then I sleep a few hours then I go to the gym and do my one hour workout, then take my kids to their school with my wife and on my day off we usually do something fun with the family like skate boards, biking or hiking. I used to do extreme sports but not anymore because I got a serious injury in one of my knees.

What was the funniest situation at the kitchen, is it some fun there ?

Always every day is something fun but really silly so I can’t explain how it is because is in the Latin sense of humor, it is very funny but hard to explain.

What advice do you have for young cooks ?

Firs of all….what ever you are going to do, do your best in every moment, do research, practice every day no matter what, keep straight to your roots, believe in your self, use your mind more than your hands, be sincere with what are you going to put in a plate, just look for the best and fresh ingredients, cook with happiness, try to build a strong a happy team, be patience because the time will be your best friend.

In which country is, in Your opinion, the most beautiful/interestig kitchen ?

For my is just not one country at all, every country has its own magic, if you see it from their own point of view, there is no colors or textures better than others, we can taste African food , Russian, Italian, French, Spanish, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, or Australian among others and all of them has something that you will like. Probably there are kitchens more popular than others like Italian for example their food is very spread out all over the world, or Chinese that is also very popular.

Photos on your instagram, are so beautiful. Are you doing it ? is it a long preparation ?

Thank you, All photographs are mine, I use my IPhone 6s , every picture probably take me about 5 to 15 minutes. Some time depend on the complexity but is pretty fast when you already have a picture in your mind.

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