Head chef at El Pirata Mayfair

An exceptional cook

My mother was an exceptional cook. Thinking about it now brings back fond memories. In fact, she was the one who inspired me to become a chef. I enjoyed watching her in our kitchen – she was a confident cook, and putting meals together seemed so effortless to her. My uncles, cousins and aunties loved coming to our house and one thing was certain: there was never any leftovers. One Christmas, I decided that I wanted to learn how to cook just as good as my mum, and asked her to teach me. I learned how to make stuffed turkey with gravy, Christmas pudding and asparagus soup. As they say, the rest is history. I have worked as a chef now for over 23 years and have been a chef at El Pirata for 19 years. I remember how my mum inspired me to do what I love and Christmas is always a special time to me.

Rosendo Simbana, head chef at El Pirata, grew up in Quito in Ecuador

An exceptional cook Spanish cook in Mayfair