1. How does it feel to be the first Judge on Top Chef Mexico?
Well first of all, it is a great honor to be part of this great adventure that is Top Chef Mexico, and being chosen to decide who will be Top Chef Mexico. Well, it feels very nice, it feels really cool, and I feel a great satisfaction that somehow your career and your work as a chef and Mexican cook is recognized. But it is too a great responsibility because in our hands is the fate of these competitors.
2. What do you think are the challenges of being a judge and also what do you like the most?
The challenges of being a judge is always to be true to what you think, say and do, to be always ready to qualify what I say in the competition. Other challenges, to be very honest, because many of the competitors are our friends and we share the same profession, it is difficult to be impartial.
3. Is it difficult to decide who will be eliminated?
Sure, sure, sure, it is super difficult, because as it is this great responsibility we carry on our shoulders to decide who will be eliminated, sometimes they consider you the bad guy. And here in Top Chef what matters the most is your last plate, it is not a contest in which they accumulate points, so today a contestant can do sensational things and win the challenge and the next day could go very bad. So it is very difficult to eliminate contestants.
4. What was the factor that motivated you to take such an important role here in Mexico Top Chef?
Well first of all the exposure that this show has, but overall the commitment I have to my country, because somehow what Top Chef Mexico is doing in our country will leave a mark for the future of the national cuisine. In a couple of years we are going to talk about these generations of chefs who came in Top Chef Mexico, and that somehow they are the ones who will take later the national cuisine on their shoulders and will be the great exponents of this large cuisine. So to be part of this generation thanks to Top Chef Mexico, it is a privilege.
5. Do you think Top Chef Mexico will help to the Mexican cuisine to be known better?
Of course it will. And not only the Mexican cuisine, but our country too. Today we are always hearing bad news occurring in the country, but this will help to show to the people that in Mexico there are good, honest, hard working people. Specially in Mexico already are known cooks, actors who make this Mexican cuisine and they are the best chefs in the world. So Top Chef Mexico will make known in the world its traditional cuisine, and contemporary cuisine that today is literally on everyone’s lips.
6. Why did you decide to become a Chef?
Well I think that being a chef, the profession, is not a profession you choose, rather the profession chooses you. I have always said that in my culinary career there are two stages: a stage without curriculum and the stage with sentimental value, that is since I can remember, from the age of 16 which is when I used to cook with my mom and my aunts, and my professional stage with curriculum, which is from 16 years old to now.
So gastronomy, food have always been intrinsic in my life and have been a central part of my life, sometimes I don’t know what I like the most, if it’s eating or cooking, but I enjoy both and with no doubt cooking is my great passion in life especially to see how people enjoy what you prepare for them.
7. What kind of food do you enjoy the most cooking?
I enjoy cooking food in my house, in my house I am responsible for what everybody eats for breakfast and for lunch, except on Sundays, because Sundays are chilaquiles in my house and my wife prepares them, they are red by the way, it is why I don’t eat chilaquiles on the street.
And the food that I like cooking is definitely homemade food, because this food unites us at the table, it is the food that makes everyone get along together.
8.- Can you tell us a little history of your so famous mustache, why do you use it like that?
My mustache is a mustache worn by charros (Mexican cowboys or horsemen), these Mexican charros as Emiliano Zapata, and I let it grow for 10 years beginning in 2005 when I left my work in a hotel. And I always go against the rules, that’s why my Mexican mustache is very Zapata like, it is not a French mustache, nor Dalí mustache, rather it is a Mexican charro mustache.
9. What other projects do you have for this year?
Well I’m about to open in few days one of the most important culinary projects of my life that is “Sotero“, this restaurant will be open in the state of Hidalgo in the city of Pachuca later on April.
“Sotero” was the name of my paternal grandfather and in honor of him we decided to put his name because my family is so involved, my dad is involved, my brother, my wife and well, I am the Executive Chef of “Sotero”. Luis Valle is my chef, who is in charge of the kitchen.
10. Any simple and easy recipe to make for our readers?
I think the easiest, easiest recipe is to do everything with love, although it sounds trite and cliché, but I think it’s the truth. When you cook with love things go well. I think it’s the recipe to be happy. As simple and easy as it sounds I think that’s the recipe for getting things done and be happy.