The Iberostar International Culinary Tour Update: Michelin Chef Marcos Moran Interview
Photos courtesy of Iberostar
Back in October of 2014, Iberostar Hotels and Resorts embarked on a worldwide culinary journey previously unheard of when they created the Iberostarchef On Tour. They took 16 Spanish, Michelin Star-winning chefs and started having unique dining experiences at their properties in the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Mexico. The idea was to take the incredible cuisine of Spain and work with that style and those flavors and merge it with the local flavors of the three host countries.
Recently completing his world culinary tour of engagements, Chef Marcos Morán shared a little bit of what it was like to travel abroad and bring his style of ancestral and contemporary cuisine together in three different countries.
TravelPulse: Chef, thank you for taking some time with us today. How did you get started in the business?
Marcos Morán: My family has run Casa Gerardo since 1882, and my father inherited the restaurant from his father. I studied at the Escuela de Hostelería y Turismo Gijón and worked at many restaurants before coming home to work with my father.
TP: Do you find it difficult to work with your father? Do you fight often?
MM: Of course! We fight all the time; we are father and son! But what we can agree on is that all of our ingredients need to be fresh. And there must be balance between flavors, textures, aromas, and colors in all recipes.
TP: So what is it like to come and work with a foreign staff in a foreign country for this tour?
MM: It is very interesting to bring my team in and work with the local chefs. They have a style and we do as well, so there is a melding there. Sometimes the equipment is a challenge, though.
TP: Say more about that…
MM: Well, in Spain, if we need something, it is very accessible. But In Cuba, that is not always to the case. The same goes for foods. Necessity has caused some unique meals. It would be like, “you have potatoes, beans and rice. Now go make a meal.”
TP: How are you melding your flavors with what you are finding in each country?
MM: We go to the local markets and farms with the local chefs and we experience the flavors and the tastes of the local culinary heritage and then work on how we can incorporate them into our dishes. For instance, we use the apple in our first course, the Solid Apple Cocktail, but we would change it up to meet the local traditional drinks like an Apple Mojito in Cuba and an Apple Margarita in Mexico. We would do the same with the catch of the day, making it about the local fish from the area.
TP: What are your feelings about this tour that Iberostar is putting on?
MM: With Gastronomy meaning as much as it does to the traveling people of the world, I think this is a great idea. This is allowing the great cuisine of Spain to be brought by the best chefs in the country to other parts of the world, and hopefully the local chefs will be able to take something from me and I from them.
TP: One last question, chef: Favorite fútbol team?
MM: HA! There is only one team, Real Madrid.
The Iberostar Chef Tour goes on through October 2015 and there are still tickets to the dinners available in all three of the destinations: the Grand Hotel Bávaro in the Dominican Republic, Parque Central in Cuba, and the Grand Hotel Paraíso in Mexico.
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