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