Interview with Chef Miguel Huelamo Estrada, Svago, KLCC
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I am a chef. I create recipes, train cooks and cook happy food for all who visit me at home or at our restaurants.
I have always been attracted to the kitchen as in my family all happens in the kitchen and around food. Since little I was helping my Grandma in the kitchen to prepare my favourite dishes or outside with my father, uncle and grandpa grilling lamb, chorizo etc on the barbecue. When I grew up I studied biology in the university but after trying out a busy day in a professional kitchen I was hooked and started working full-time in Madrid. After two years I went to the most prestigious kitchen school in Spain and got to work in 3 Michelin star restaurants as part of my apprentice work.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
Once when I was working in London we left a basket with fresh Italian black truffles in the kitchen and a new kitchen porter from Nigeria thought they were some sort of dessert, took a huge bite of one (costing us around 100£) and complained that our cookies were not good...
What's the best/ worst part of your job?
The best is to handle quality products from all over the world and create good food that people enjoy. The worst are the schedules... You always work when everyone else its having fun!
What's your personal favourite dish at Svago?
I would say the lamb chops. They're marinated with a mix of north African and Chinese spices, chargrilled and served with Greek yogurt, fresh mint, garlic and prunes stewed in lamb jus.
What's one of the craziest things you've seen behind the scenes?
Maybe when I was working in Arzak, a 3 Michelin star restaurant were we had 36 chefs for less than 100 guests!
The perfect day off would be...
... a long bicycle ride along a beautiful road with hills and beach. Followed by an amazing bowl of noodles and an afternoon with my wife on the beach :-)
A day in the life of a chef is...
Busy! Hectic, balancing chaos while looking calm.
What do you do for fun?
I like to race in road cycling and triathlon events.
What's your favourite food and wine pairing?
Honestly, I love very chilled slightly sweet riesling wines with tandoori and Indian curries and naan...
It's the best wine and food combo I have ever tried!
What's your view on the KL food scene?
I think there is still an immense amount of potential here that is untapped. There’s still plenty of room to advance as Malaysia is so rich in flavour and culture. I’m happy that I’m here now to experience it as well as make my contributions to help the KL food scene reach greater heights.
What's in store for you in the upcoming months?
Out2dine has several concepts developing for 2015 and I am working on something that I love
deeply. We will keep The Yum List posted ;-)