First Mexican chef deserving of a Michelin star, recognition of greater influence in international gastronomy, Carlos Gaytan has a history that inspires. He was born in Huitzuco, Guerrero and at the age of 18 he decided to leave in search of the American dream. This is how he began his career in gastronomy in the United States, combining his use as a dishwasher and learning English. In this interview, he is contagious of his enthusiasm and simplicity.
At what point do you realize your vocation as a Chef?
I cannot remember a specific moment, they had to pass a series of experiences to make me realize that this was my passion. When I lived in Mexico there was no culinary school, when I arrived in the United States I realized that gastronomy conquered palates, this is a decisive point.
What is your inspiration in the kitchen?
The ingredients and the local markets are my biggest inspiration. When I see and buy the products, I choose what I want to cook at that moment.
What do you consider are the ingredients or condiments that distinguish your dishes?
The five ingredients that are not missing in my kitchen are: chocolate, chiles, avocado, butter and cheeses.
What do you love most about doing your job?
Conquer the palates of people through my dishes, leaving them an experience they will remember for life.
Who inspired you, who is your greatest influence?
My mother is the one who has taught me to be creative, and not to surrender to life. Another great influence is Chef Jeff Miller *, for giving me the opportunity to venture into the kitchen and the time he dedicated to teaching me.
What is the best thing that has happened to you in your career as a Chef?
Learn that I have limits as a person and fall on my knees before God to ask for help.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your professional life and in your personal life?
Each day presents a challenge. We think that some are bigger, until the next one arrives. The important thing is how we face them. Overcoming the fear of challenges is what gives us strength.
What do you enjoy most during the development of each student conference?
The questions of the public. I was inspired to respond. Many times, you prepare a conference, but you do not really know what will be useful or what can help them in the race.
Why did you accept the invitation to give a conference organized by the University in Los Cabos?
I enjoy inspiring others to fight for their dreams with dedication and will. Some time ago this invitation was presented, and the agenda did not allow it. Now finally it was possible.
What do you like about Los Cabos?
Los Cabos is a paradise. It should be on everyone’s list to visit because it’s a beautiful place to vacation. The nature, the adventure, the culinary offer. It’s a paradise.
What local ingredients do you know, or would you integrate into your dishes?
Seafood, seafood and shellfish. Everything related to the sea is a marvel of products and ingredients for me as a chef. The generous clam, I tasted it for the first time cooked by Chef Benito Molina. Unfortunately, we have not been able to take her to Chicago for import sanitary permits, but it’s delicious.
What do you know about the culinary scene in Los Cabos?
Gastronomy in Los Cabos is a combination of sea and desert. You have the abundance of the sea and the best of the earth. That originates a very healthy kitchen with great flavor.
What would you like your contribution to gastronomy to be?
Educate the foreign diner in what is truly Mexican cuisine. That is my challenge and my goal.
How do you perceive Mexican gastronomy outside the country?
In the world right now, Mexican gastronomy has taken an important turn. The knowledge and ingredients that make us up have been expanded. Beyond the tacos, enchiladas and burritos. Important chefs travel to Mexico to inspire themselves to create new recipes and combine flavors.