Describe your personality
I’m fun-loving and passionate about both life and food. I enjoy meeting and socialising with new people; in fact this is one of the main reasons why I chose to move to Dubai.
Describe your personality in the kitchen.
I like to work in a structured kitchen and I have to see that my team is passionate about what they do. If anything, I’m probably more serious in the kitchen.
Describe your cooking style.
Modern Peruvian. It’s hard to source some of the products in the UAE and since opening the restaurant we’ve managed to find some great suppliers, so we can create similar food to that found in Peru.
What items do you currently have in your fridge at home?
Cheese, sliced meats, ice cream, hot dogs, frozen pizzas and – wait for it – cigarettes. Everyone laughs, but it keeps them fresh.
What was the last dish you cooked for yourself?
As you can tell by the contents of my fridge, I don’t have much time to cook for myself. I normally buy the fresh ingredients I need and cook them straight away. The last dish I cooked was frejoles con carne (South American beans and meat). Delicious!
What was the last dish you had cooked for you?
Not many people cook for me, apart from when I eat at a restaurant. When I went to Maya by Richard Sandoval, Ruben (the chef de cuisine) made me a new dish that he’d been working on – a beef dish with a black-bean purée. As always, food by Ruben is fantastic.
Who would you want to cook your last meal on earth?
If I was married, it would have to be my wife. But for now it looks like I’m making my own last dinner!
What one dish could you happily live on for the rest of your days?
Ceviche. Its protein-rich and full of flavour. You can make it using different ingredients, which keeps you experimenting.
What dish would you be happy never to eat again?
Foie gras. It’s too fatty for me.
What dish do you never want to cook again?
I’ve never cooked anything I didn’t like cooking – I love the food I cook!
Indian or Chinese?
Peruvian… Okay, Chinese – which, incidentally, has lots of aspects of Peruvian flavours in it.
Describe Dubai’s dining scene in three words.
Growing, fast, interesting.
If you weren’t a chef, you’d be…
An engineer or a pilot. I’ve always been interested in how things work and I think most men would agree that being a pilot would be a dream job.
Toro Toro, Grosvenor House Tower Two, Dubai Marina (04 399 8888).
‘This is a famous dish from my country, influenced by the Chinese immigrants to Peru. The ingredients are simple, but the flavours are incredible.’
180g beef tenderloin, sliced
35g red onion, sliced into sticks
35g tomatoes, sliced into sticks
70g french fries, fried crispy
10g spring onion, chopped
5g garlic, minced
5g fresh ginger, ground
20ml soy sauce
20ml white vinegar
40ml oyster sauce
1g dry oregano
0.5g ground cumin
30ml vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1 Marinate the beef in garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and ginger for five minutes.
2 Heat a Chinese wok or large sauté pan to high heat on the stove.
3 Add oil and sear the beef, stirring to caramelise.
4 Add the onions, cook for a minute, and then add the remaining garlic and ginger and sauté, being sure not to burn the garlic.
5 Mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce and vinegar and add to the pan.
6 Add the tomatoes, spring onions and oregano, and bring to a quick boil.
7 To serve, spoon the mixture on top of hot steamed rice, and top with the French fries.