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Cezar Alonso Velasquez Baez - How a Chilean chef has adapted to Romanian cuisine.

Cezar Alonso Velasquez Baez is the main chef of Herastrau Restaurant and has an impressive professional career. He was born in Chile, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, in Valparaiso and left the South American continent for Europe. He chose Spain as a place of professional affirmation and then he adventured to move to Romania.

In the new adoptive country, Cezar Alonso Velasquez Baez has continued his chef career and, at present, impresses the lovers of good food at Herastrau Restaurant. The Chilean chef analyzes the Romanian cuisine from the Western one and explains how he assimilated a culture so different from the one in which he was born.

How do you find Romanian and Western cuisine?

They are totally different, the romanian one is heavier, full of protein, it is based more on meat and fat.

 

Western cuisine, on the other hand, offers a much wider range of options, due to the variety of raw materials, fish and seafood are more accessible, vegetables and fruits are very diverse.

What elements of the Romanian cuisine did you find surprising, unique?

Here almost 100% of the raw material is used, for example, from the pig, it is used from the skin to the intestines. We work a lot with natural products. For winter we work in summer, make sauces, broth and canning. This helps us not depend on any supplier and have high quality products.

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What habit, ingredients, method of preparation you adopted in your style of cooking from Romanian cuisine?

I have a habit of making everything from zero. For example, we making sausages in the kitchen without appealing to a supplier.

What are your principles in the kitchen?

The most important is to respect if you want to be respected.

You have been in Romania for five years. Can you say that you can be more or less Romanian now?

I don't think I should appreciate this. I think my friends, colleagues and clients should appreciate if I had already assimilated the culture and lifestyle.

How are romanians compared to chileans? Do you miss Chile, your home life?

Considering being able to talk about two total cultures in their entirety, they are of latin origin and find other similar things. For example, the joy of discovering something new, the curiosity of a sleeve prepares exotic and the pleasure of a family party.

Three favorite places in Bucharest?

1. Herastrau complex, of course.

2. IOR Park

3. You read Lipscani

The perfect party with other ...

The right people

Good drink

Perfect food

 

Because, in this way the environment is created by itself.

Can you recommend us an autumn preparation that we can do at home, to surprise your guests?

Boar steak with grape sauce, served with pumpkin puree

  • Boar chops 800gr
  • Pumpkin 800gr
  • Potatoes 400gr
  • Grapes 320gr
  • Red wine 400 ml
  • Garlic 120gr
  • Sugar 120gr
  • Baby carrots 120gr
  • Butter 120gr
  • Olive oil 40ml
  • Salt 10gr
  • Pepper 5gr

Puree: Wash the pumpkin and bake for 40 minutes at 150 °. Boil the potatoes, make them puree by adding the pumpkin, season with salt and pepper.

For sauce: Half of the grapes are heated in a pot with olive oil, wine, sugar, salt and pepper. Let it reduce to one third of the initial quantity. Keep some grapes for decoration.

Boar: Clean the meat then season it with salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil. Make it on the pan, add the minced garlic and place it in the oven for 15 minutes at 150 °.

Cut the fresh grape beans in half and add them to the sauce before making the plates. Put the preparation on the plates and enjoy it.

 

 

Tip: We can add some edamame berries to the pan with olive oil for extra contrast and a lively green on the plate.

"People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did,
but they will never forget how you made them feel" Maya Angelou

 
 
Nordului street, no. 7 - 9, sector 1
București, România

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