THE ROTA ARCHIVE

OSWALDO OLIVA - THE CHEF

"IT IS WORKING IN TEAMS THAT MAKE RESTAURANTS. NOT THE PRODUCE, NOT THE CONCEPTS, NOT FAME AND FORTUNE. TEAMS."

Follow Oswaldo on Instagram @oswaldenzz

Photograph taken by Jose Luis Lopez de Zubiria

Photograph taken by Jose Luis Lopez de Zubiria

1. What was your first job in hospitality?

Salad and soup station at a famous restaurant in Mexico City. Shity job, yet I remember it dearly.

2. What is your favourite cuisine to eat - preferably the opposite to what you work in?

Japanese

3. Which dish do you most associate with childhood?

Skewered corn cobs dressed with mayonnaise and chilli powder. 

4. What’s the soundtrack to your first love?

I don't have one.

5. What do you crave after a long shift?

A cold beer. Maybe 2...

6. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – what do you have? 

I'm a cereal person.

7. What is your favourite word?

Omelette 

8. If you could go on a culinary extravaganza-eating holiday – where would you choose to do so?

Italia!! Piemonte y Toscana

9. All at the same time or coursed out?

All at the same time. Recharge the batteries, then jump back to reality. 

10. What is the one area of working in a restaurant you wish you knew more of?

Wine and Finance.

11. What is the best cure for a hangover?

Abstinence. Never fails. 

12. You’re allowed one shift drink – what is it?

The most interesting wine being served that night. 

13. What is the one thing which guests do that drives you mad?

Be unaware of the goodness behind all our efforts in hospitality. I don’t think anyone wakes up in the morning thinking "Today I will really try my best to suck at what I do" it is quite the opposite, and if guests could see that I am sure they’d show more empathy.

14. Do you have any rituals during a shift?

Just be ready for the unexpected.

15. What’s the last film you saw?

Whiplash. Fucking amazing!!!

16. Best thing that has ever happened to you in a restaurant? 

Didn’t exactly happen at a restaurant, but I will always remember the day I assisted Michel Bras during the first MAD symposium. We served 4 different vegetarian courses to other chefs and speakers and I still remember Michel saying to me "Don’t you ever throw away the apple’s seeds! They are the best part of the apple."

17. What’s your tagline/motto?

Focus.

18. Photography while eating – yay or nay?

Yay!! All for it. Just keep your selfie stick at home.

19. Rank the following in order of priority: wine, food, sex

Food, wine, sex.

20. What would be your last meal – drinks included.

Seafood orgy from Cervejeria Ramiro in Lisbon, grilled Txuleta from the Basque country and 2 bottles of wine; one white, one red.

21. What makes you happy?

My dog, my wife and simple life.

22. How do you relax?

I dream.

23. What is the background on your phone?

Amazing squid photographed by @pa_jorgensen from @foolmagazine

24. Favourite Instagram accounts to follow 

@chivexp -because Emmanuel Lubezki is fucking inspiring.

@historicalpix - because it makes me learn.

@muradosmann - because it makes me dream.

25. What is the best thing about working in hospitality? 

Connection. No other craft has the chance to bring together people, knowledge and passion from so many different backgrounds. No matter what you do, no matter where you were born or how you were raised, food will surely be the thing that will connect you to someone else.

26. Which restaurant are you ashamed to NOT have eaten at?

Noma

27. Who is the person you most respect in the industry?

Everyone who has sacrificed himself or herself to make a restaurant better. Everyone who has put a project before themselves and has tried to be better everyday.

It is working in teams that make restaurants. Not the produce, not the concepts, not fame and fortune. Teams.

28. What is your go to party trick?

I am the party trick…also I am super super humble

29. Finish this sentence: I eat everything except ...

I eat everything.