New chef alert, Te Quiero Mucho’s Alejandro
Say hello to Alejandro, Te Quiero Mucho’s new Head Chef and a master of Mexican cuisine. With his irresistible, native dishes already creating a vibrant buzz, we decided to get to know the man of the moment and his incredible flavours.
Where did your passion for cooking evolve from?
Since I was a small child, my grandfathers had a great influence on my passion for food. One travelled a lot and taught me about the different flavours, textures and ingredients he came across, and the other worked in the old-school Mexican F&B industry. One of my fondest memories was travelling to my grandfather’s country house and spending whole days in the kitchen, cooking, laughing and sharing a love of food. This passion continued to grow until I realised, I am my happiest when cooking.
What do you believe it is about Mexican cuisine that people enjoy so much?
It is the unique flavours and spirit that embody each dish. Mexican cuisine developed from a fusion of different cultures, which is why the flavours are so exotic and vibrant. In Mexican tradition, food is an enormous part of who we are and our culture, so with each dish people get a taste of that love and spirit. The warmth you find in Mexican cuisine provides you with an experience of the incredible culture and environment it comes from.
Whilst in Mexico, you chose to live in the mountains and grow your own produce, what an amazing experience! What did you learn from this?
Living in the mountains was one of the most inspiring experiences I’ve ever had. Living in the wilderness can be lonely, but it was an awakening experience, in which I developed a deep appreciation for nature. Creating my own produce, from vegetables and fruits to having cows to make my own milk and cheese, and formulating seasonal menus around what I had, was eye opening and allowed me to appreciate the importance of every step of the process.
After working in Latin America and Europe, what was it about Hong Kong that drew you to move here?
Whenever there has been an opportunity for me to expand my passion and learn, I have always been eager to. A good friend and mentor of mine invited me to be part of the opening team for one of Gordan Ramsey’s restaurants and I jumped at the opportunity to broaden my culinary knowledge in Asia. I moved to this incredible city in 2015 and have never looked back since.
Can you let us in on any exciting plans you may have for TQM?
If you head down to TQM, you will already see quite a few of my signature twists, there is much more of that to come. I am also beginning to create a small urban greenhouse on the rooftop, to get some of our own produce into our dishes. It will just be small, but I believe it could be a great start to something bigger. You’ll have to wait and see for the rest; I don’t want to ruin any surprises!