Many of our WFFT members relished the opportunity to get to know Chef Pablo at the Austin Wine Experience's "A Conversation on Spanish Food & Wine - Traditional & Modern Styles" session or have enjoyed a visit to South Austin's El Chipirón where he is the Executive Chef. If you haven't tried this talented chef's delicious Spanish cuisine, get to know him better in this month's Chef Spotlight. And, then, run (don't walk!) to El Chipirón to try it for yourself.
Chef Spotlight: Chef Pablo Gomez of El Chipirón
What is your guilty pleasure?
Santoña anchovies, a delicacy I can’t resist.
If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Cocido Montañés, a typical stew from my region in Spain, a very filling dish made with beans, kale, chorizo, blood sausage, and pork ribs. Delicious, but it’s so heavy that if I ate that for the rest of my life, my life wouldn’t be very long!
What does your family beg you to make at home?
Paella, especially my mother in law, she asks me for it every time she sees me.
Describe the best meal you've ever had.
The best meal I ever had was a very simple meal: razor clams cooked on a flat top with lemon and sea salt. We fished them that very morning. It was the first day I had ever tried them and it was glorious.
What is your favorite local ingredient?
It’s hard to find a favorite, but I like Texas BBQ a lot. The beef is great and the rubs and sauces are delicious.
If you can make a meal for anyone, who would it be and why?
My family. I live in Austin, my brother in London, and the rest of my family are spread between Spain and México, so it’s almost impossible to get them all together around a table. I would give an arm and a leg to cook for them all.
About Chef Pablo Gomez
Pablo Gomez began working in kitchens as a way to make some extra money during college. In his last year he offered to work for free at "El Serbal" and "El Nuevo Molino," both Michelin star restaurants in his home town. He served as an apprentice under chefs Fernando Sainz de la Maza and Toni Gonzalez. There he learned the difference between producing and creating, and decided to become a professional chef.
As his passion kept growing, he decided to enroll at "Escuela Superior de Hostelería de la Comunidad de Madrid," one of the most prestigious culinary arts school in Madrid. There, he completed his studies as a chef, and restaurant enterprises manager.
He then joined Juan Pablo Felipe (National Gastronomy Award - 2001) in "El Chaflán" another Michelin star restaurant, and a classic destination in Madrid. Trying to keep learning from the best, he staged at “La Terraza del Casino de Madrid" (two Michelin stars) with Paco Roncero (National Gastronomy Award - 2006) under world renowned Chef Ferrán Adriá as Gastronomic Adviser.
From there he became a freelance consultant working as an Executive Chef, and culinary adviser for other restaurants such as Monte Nevado Chain (4 restaurants in Madrid), Arte Monte (2 restaurants in Madrid) and L´artisan Furansu Kitchen (Madrid) among others.