Who are you ? Tell us about your experience !
My name is Santiago and I’m Colombian-Swiss. As a child,I had the chance of living in numerous countries, which gave me a multicultural openness. I came to Paris 9 years ago to study Law. I soon realized it wasn’t my path and I decided to become a Cook. I did my professional cuisine diploma, my advanced technician certificate at Ferrandi school and my beerologist degrée at Cergy-Pontoise University. After working in various renowned establishments in Paris, I worked as Head Chef at Biondi restaurant and as Executive Sous-Chef at the Renaissance, a Five stars hotel by Marriott.
What is your role at Maison Mère ?
As the Head Chef at MaisonMere, I’m responsible for creating the menus, for the kitchen staff, the suppliers but also for the hygiene controls and rentability. Concerning the development of our Hey Honey brand, I work closely with Hadrien de Crisenoy, our F&B manager and with the Head Barman.
What seduced you in the project of Maison Mère ?
From my very first interview at the hotel, I realized that MaisonMere is an ambitious project as well as a very humain enterprise. I was quickly seduced by the project, the liberty to create, the Team and the challenge that all of this represents.
As a chef, what do you the like most about your job?
For me, being a Chef is not only a job, for you can’t separate it from your personal life. Being a chef is a way of being, a lifestyle that requires the love of serving and sharing. What I like the most about it, is to be able to create emotions, to share knowledge, to experiment and learn constantly.
Who is the Chef who inspired you in your journey as a cook? What are your culinary inspirations?
If there’s one Chef that always impressed me, not only by his vision of what Cuisine is, but also by his humanist side, it is Anthony Bourdain. First one to blow the whistle on precarious work conditions for kitchen staff, he wrote Kitchen Confidential to shed light on Fine dining backstage. Restless traveler, he also traveled the world to showcase the value of cultural identity through local cuisine.
I decided therefore to work on a fusion cuisine: Paying hommage to my childhood and my dear Latin America, but enriching my cuisine with products and techniques,not only from France where I studied, but from all around the world.
How would you describe the team of Maison Mère ?
The MaisonMere Team is one of the main reasons that made me join the adventure. Carefully handpicked by our General Director, it is made of young, nice, dynamic people that excel in their respective fields.
Give us two addresses that you would recommend to a friend visiting Paris? And the two best restaurants where you like to eat?
When visiting Paris, it is imperative to go to Pigalle, to discover that mix between Pigalle’s nightlife (Cabarets, bars, brasseries) and Bohemian lifestyle (small museums, cafés, little streets). I also recommend the Seine’s riverbanks from Alexandre III bridge to the Sully Bridge.
Regarding my favourite restaurants, there are so many! but I would recommend:
- L’Avant-Comptoir du Marché, By Yves Camdeborde. Tasty tapas, nice vibe and a great wine selection, all made with love by a super team.
- Goguette. Delicious and creative dishes made by Chef GianMarco Gorni, a splendid natural-wines menu signed by Guillaume Dupré, a festive atmosphere and great music.
What is your definition of a House?
For me, a house is the place where you feel whole and confident. where you can be yourself but also the place you choose to share quality time with friends and family.
Which dish makes you feel at home?
From all the traditional colombian dishes I ate as a child, my comfort food was my aunt’s Arroz con pollo. Nowadays, as a Chef, my comfort food is homemade fresh tagliatelle with ragu.