We at Fagor Professional are delighted to have highly professional clients and business partners. The professional relationship which unites us, and which in many cases extends beyond the professional, enables us, as is the case here, to request collaborations, such as this series of interviews we present to you today. We want our blog followers to get to know these top professionals from the gastronomy and catering world a little better through these interviews.
In this interview series, there will be some standard questions, in addition to others aimed at finding out more the work of the individual in question.
We’re delighted to be joined today by Porfirio Garcés Marchan, better known as @PochoGarces.
Pocho Garcés is a Venezuelan cook and consultant and has dedicated a large part of his professional career to researching Venezuela’s cuisine.
Let’s get on with the interview!
– When did you decide you wanted to be a chef?
Almost everyone in my family cooks, irrespective of their day job. I think that’s where it all began, because I didn’t go through that fantastic phase of dreaming (and designing) my future proclaiming “I want to be a chef”.
“I want to be a rock star,” that was my dream 🙂 and I left home in search of my big break. It didn’t work out. I studied graphic design and had my own office space, a visual communication studio which also organised corporate events. As part of our client services, we designed tapas and snacks inspired by the aesthetics of their brand. That’s how (from a different angle) I got closer to the kitchen.
My family built an inn, a small hotel with a restaurant, where I worked with my brother Leo for over ten years. It was as if I became a chef before I realised it. That was 20 years ago and I still love it.
– What do you like best about your profession?
Generating ideas. Creating concepts. Designing solutions. I think it’s closely connected to the fact that I’m passionate about picking out the products and discovering their potential uses, in addition to the techniques and equipment that favour them, so that their quality is both enhanced and upheld, suggesting all the elements in order for ideas to flow freely.
– How would you define your cooking style?
Cooking based on concepts, processes and sensations. The concept itself depends on the ingredient, the team, and the technique. First of all, I think about how to get the best out of the ingredient, that way the diner gets the best of every product and every dish. The diner deserves it all.
– Which part of the kitchen is most valuable to you?
All of it. A fully equipped, well thought-out kitchen, that would be ideal. Therefore, each and every part would be important.
– What’s the one thing you always have in your kitchen?
A selection of herbs, spices and vegetables.
Cilantro, ají dulce, leek, celery, spring onion, guayabita, black pepper, coriander… I don’t know! (Laughter)
– Do you have any advice for youngsters who dream of being professional chefs?
That they spend more time doing what they should be doing, which is cooking.
That they never stop studyin; you can document, investigate and experiment a lot in the kitchen. That they learn from every chef they work with. That they feel every ingredient, that they also think about the business side of things, that they care about what is lost, that they are interested in the diner and what they’ve come to experience .
– How do you view the current culinary school panorama in Latin America?
There are lots of schools. I love the fact that cooking has a specific house of study, and that it teaches people about one of the most important things in life, how to eat, while at the same time, making people happy.
– Tell us a little about what your work at the international events you attend entails.
I don’t often attend international events. However, whenever I’ve attended international gastronomy events, it’s been to do live cooking demonstrations and to give talks on the potential and practicality of Venezuelan cuisine, as was the case in 2012, when I assisted Chef Nelson Méndez at the Madrid Fusión congress with the “Amazonian Venezuelan Cuisine” presentation. !
Thanks for your time Pocho, it’s always a pleasure to read about/hear from you!