Mandy Rostance-Wolf 2016-12-08 06:23:16
CRISTIAN REBOLLEDO Chef - Director White Sand Culinary Group, Element Restaurant A RACONTEUR OF SORTS, CHEF CRISTIAN RebOllEdO SHAREd THE STORy OF HIS life with the same talent and precision he exhibits in the culinary arts; together with a passion, sincerity and humility that was refreshing, inspiring and at times, quite humorous. With a succession of awards, accolades and experiences that could fill a book, I wanted to start where his love for food began. He smiled, sat back in his chair and said, “I love this kind of interview.” Born in the South of Chile, where a very rainy climate kept him constantly indoors, he remembers always baking with his nanny. He began baking bread to sell to neighbours at the age of eight, his father, completely unaware was quite surprised when a ‘customer’ arrived on their doorstep one Sunday morning to buy Cristian’s bread. After high school and a stint in the military, expectations were high. With his parents both professionals, his grandparents both lawyers and his brother an economist, he announced, “OK, OK, I’m going to be a lawyer.” “I went to law school, but during the night, I started going to culinary school,” he grinned. When Cristian couldn’t pay, his father received an invoice from the culinary school and alleged someone had stolen his son’s identity - because his son was studying law. Cristian had to come clean. “Why didn’t you tell me? I love it!” was his father’s reaction, gaining support from all arenas. My dad and my grandma were my first big fans.” He completed the culinary program at the INCAP Technical Institute. His first job would be in a high-end French seafood restaurant as a dishwasher, graduating to sauces. He left Chile to travel to Europe for three months, but stayed for three years. “My grandmother gave me $5000 and I spent it in one week!” he laughed. “I worked with the most amazing chefs. It was great.” Cristian maintains the importance of experiences and travelling. “It’s one of the most important things for a young cook to do.” Then it’s a blur - from the congress building in Madrid to Executive Sous Chef at the Palace of the King of Spain, where he was in charge of the travelling menu for then Prince Felipe (current King of Spain). Once, he travelled with Prince Felipe back to his native Chile, his country excited and proud that the Prince’s chef was a Chilean chef. A flurry of experiences in destinations across Asia, Europe, US, Costa Rica, Cuba and Mexico. He even had his own TV show as a chef in Chile. His first taste of the Turks and Caicos Islands was at beaches, in charge of the culinary operations for all the villages as a Senior executive sous chef; then off to Malaysia and back to Chile. He opened his own restaurant and was awarded the #1 restaurant in Chile on June 1, 2012. A fire destroyed everything two days later. It was after this tragedy, he returned to Providenciales. “It wasn’t easy to get here. At the end, everything happens for some reason,” he said with great humility. During his career Cristian has worked in different and prestigious hotel companies like Ritz Carlton, Marriot, Sol Melia, Six Senses and more. He cooked at the esteemed James beard Foundation in May 2015 with the support of his wife and two daughters. In the TCI (until June 2016) he was in charge of the F&b operations for the Waterloo Hotel Group (blue Haven, Alexandra and beach House). “I had a great experience working with amazing people… but my favourite was Kitchen 218 at beach House, my gem,” he said laughing. Now is the time for a new venture… Element, his own restaurant, and White Sand Culinary, a catering and private chefs company. “The thing that guests love at Element is my creative and fresh degustation Menu – a 12 course tasting menu (served only at “the chef’s table” by reservation only). I prepare it especially for every guest using local ingredients and the latest culinary techniques and you’re never going to have the same tasting menu again.” “My goal is to create a connection between the kitchen and the guest. When you create this connection, it is amazing.” “It’s all about blowing your palate and your mind. I want to surprise you, that’s my goal,” he insists. “I really want to do something different and I want to have the best restaurant on Provo. We can do it. In service and in food.” “We’re very happy here. We love the island,” he confesses. In his spare time, he loves to play golf and indulges in the escapism of action movies on TV. His passion is palpable, and he speaks from the heart, “To be a cook – it’s much more than a job, much more than a salary at the end of the month. To be a cook is passion. To be a cook is a lifetime. A mix between a scientist and an artist. We are passionate, we are sentimental, we are unique, we are CHEFS.” by Mandy Rostance-Wolf
Published by AdVantage. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://onlineissues.wherewhenhow.com/article/Chef+Cristian+Rebolledo/2659148/365471/article.html.