From Pinto to Orange with a lot of twists and turns!
“I knew 2010 was going to bring many adventures…
But what I never imagined as I packed my bags that November in 2009 was that Australia was going to be my new home for over a decade!
I was travelling down under to meet my partner’s family and to learn more about her home, her family, her language, and culture…
But, as soon as I set my foot in Sydney, I was mesmerised.
Australia stole my heart from the go.
It wasn’t always easy, I’m not going to lie.
There were many twists and turns, many tries, and many reinventions.
Until I found my way.
And my way started in a kitchen.
As I studied a commercial cookery course I washed dishes to pay for my fees.
Despite being the only foreigner in the course, I managed to get the title of “Best student” in my class and in the entire campus.
That was my turning point.
I felt I was starting to gain strength and momemtum.
And when one night, in the middle of a service and with the restaurant completely full, a colleague had an unfortunate accident. Without giving it a second thought I told the chef: “I know how to cook and I can help out.”
That was the first night I was ever hired a cook.
After being invited to study for a diploma at the prestigious Hospitality and Management School in Sydney and spending a few years in renowned kitchens such as The Morrison, MoVida Sydney, and The Vanguard, we decided it was time to leave it all behind for a more balanced lifestyle.
And so Orange, NSW, became our home.
In a heartbeat, we knew we had found the perfect place where to put down roots and start a new family life.”
Creating waves in an inland paradise like Orange!
How is it possible that Australia hardly knows anything about the Spanish cuisine in the country?
Why doesn’t anyone talk about the great work that Spanish chefs are doing in Australia?
What can I do to help Australia discover the inventive gastronomy of the latest generation of Spanish chefs here?
These sorts of questions slowly started to form in Ruben’s mind…
#spanishchefsinaustralia – a support group in which Spanish chefs in Australia exchanged ideas and collaborations – was born from those early thoughts and from the almost incomprehensibly notes in his now-famous blue notebook!
In a very short time, Ruben’s wave was gathering strength.
The #spanishchefsinaustralia community became EatSpanish, initially a digital platform for the promotion of the great work that the community of Spanish chefs was doing in Australia.
EatSpanish today is a powerful tsunami that has become the largest gastronomic movement of Spanish chefs outside of Spain.
Having arrived from all over the Spanish geography, EatSpanish members experiment, promote, and fuse local products with the best of Spanish imports in Australia.
EatSpanish is today a movement focused on creating a new Spanish gastronomy away from clichés and outdated stereotypes with a focus on sustainability and collaboration.
A multi-talented community which – in a collaborative and voluntary way -, is turning Rubén’s original idea into a symbol of Spanish gastronomic culture abroad.
Today, EatSpanish counts with the support of great collaborators and sponsors both in Spain and Australia, and of institutions as important as the Embassy of Spain in Australia and Instituto Cervantes, for whom they do talks, organise gastronomic events, and various other types of collaborations.
How far will the new wave of Spanish gastronomy reach in Australia?
As far as the passion, talent and commitment of all our members take us…
That is, very, very far!
Because passion, talent, and commitment are traits each one of us has in bucket loads!
Together, the EatSpanish community fights to erase the old, outdated clichés about Spanish cuisine and promote a new way of doing things…
A popular kitchen…
The no-waste kitchen we all learned from our mothers and grandmothers.
Together, we promote and make the Spanish DNA visible using the extraordinary local ingredients Australia so generously shares with us.
The result is an inventive, fresh, seasonal cuisine that combines those inherently Australian flavours with bold Spanish techniques from different regions.
An “eco-gastronomy” that promotes local production and sustainability.
Artistic gastronomy with an unforgettable flavour.
Collaborative gastronomy, supporting the producer and other colleagues with the same vision.
A uniquely EatSpanish gastronomy.
How far will this new generation of chefs go in Australia?
Where will this new way of working in the kitchens of this great country take us?
With so much talent and enthusiasm, not even the sky is the limit!