In this second installment we will tell you a little bit about the professional journeys of Ismael Lastra and Tomás Saldivia in the world of gastronomy. Find out everything below!
María: When did you first discover your passion for gastronomy?
Ismael: I discovered my passion for cooking when I cooked for myself for the first time when I was 5 or 6 years old and realized that I could make food tasty. I made myself a fried egg, which I still love making to this day, in a small pan with plenty of oil accompanied with marraqueta bread. I remember that day I became very interested in the process of cooking and in observing what was happening in the pan.
Tomás: My passion stems from the flavors of the delicious lunches and homemade meals that I shared with my father, my mother and other close family members.
M: Before becoming a chef, what profession did you think you would have? Do you have any frustrated professional ambitions?
I: I studied journalism for four years at UNIACC. Becoming a chef almost never happened, but finally life led me to realize my dream.
T: Luckily I did what I wanted to do and I don’t have any frustrated professional ambitions! Back then I studied for the Culinary admissions test and also took the Academic Admissions Test. I got enough points to study Chemical Engineering at the U. Adolfo Ibáñez but knew it wasn’t my thing. I spoke to my father and told him that I wanted to study gastronomy and luckily he was fully supportive.
M: Who taught you how to cook?
I: My paternal grandmother, Mona, taught me. A lady who could feed an army with very little and do it in a tasty way. I was always by her side when she cooked. In fact, the restaurant’s main sauce is Mona’s.
T: My parents were the first people to introduce me to the culinary world. With them I learned the joy of cooking, of chopping, cutting and getting my hands dirty. For me, what was most fun was cooking in paella pans, barbequing in a metal disc, as well as using grills and frying pans. Of course, what I loved the most was eating and more eating! (laughs)
M: Do you prefer to eat out, are you a fan of delivery or do you like to cook at home?
I: All three! I love going out whenever I can, I’m also a Rappi addict and cook a lot at home as well.
T: I love to cook at home. It is how I relax and is a great way to enjoy time with family. My children, Bruna and Santino, watch me cooking, they help me and ask me questions. My wife, Ale, has a very fine palate for gourmet food, so I always have her as my taster. Sometimes we go to restaurants to try out and experience other gastronomic trends.
M: What ingredients are a must in your kitchen?
I: Garlic, parsley, good oil and of course eggs.
T: In my kitchen we are never without onions, paprika, cinnamon pepper, cumin and garlic. I love fresh broth (I play around with different ingredients).
M: Which kitchen accessories or utensils can you not do without?
I: A Thermomix blender (an exceptional invention), a vacuum sealer, and a good oven.
T: Different types of peeler, and scoops of different sizes, good frying pans, different types and sizes of molds and a good blender.
M: What is your favorite gastronomic destination in the world?
I: The Basque Country by far. Spain in general, but Euskadi is the cradle of culinary civilization…
T: I love all gastronomy around the world and that which I am familiar with. But there are three in places in particular that are special for me, mainly because I have lived there for a long time and learned a lot from: Peru, Spain and Italy.
M: What products do you buy on your trips to take home?
I: Knives and local ingredients.
T: I always buy dressings, different condiments that are hard to find, or products that I have not seen before. Also, when I travel in Chile, I always take fresh local produce or products processed by small producers. If not, I harvest some myself and bring them home to try.
M: Is there a particular dish you have tried that was unforgettable?
I: Pinto beans from the Basque Country.
T: Pork ribs with spicy puree from the “El Rancho de Doña María” restaurant.
If you want to find out more about Bodega 1883 by Áurea, click on the following link.