Our next edition of Cooking Beats—Raíces sees Gisela Salazar Golding, executive chef of Grain Traders, helming the kitchen on Thursday, 30th March. In a follow up to a packed-out evening in our first session, led by our very own founders Javier and Joshua, Gisela will be presenting dishes from her hometown of Venezuela with influences from all the places she’s worked at around the world, fuelled by a little bit of friendly competition. Known for her hearty dishes with layers of flavours, as well as her nurturing, friendly personality, Gisela’s bound to deliver a night to remember. We spend some time talking to her to ahead of her guest shift.
1/ You quit college at the age of 17 and moved to Spain to pursue your passion of food—what did your parents think? Was it a tough decision to make at such a young age?
I had the opportunity to get into college because I was part of the basketball team. When I was waiting to start class I did an internship in a restaurant recommend by another chef friend. After three months I quit the team and college, and decided that I wanted to move to Spain to study in the kitchen instead. My parents almost killed me, especially my dad. At the beginning they didn’t take me so seriously, but I started sending letters to culinary schools in Spain and got responses from them. At that point my mom started helping me. For my dad it was more difficult—both my parents are teachers, and for them it was very important to go to college. But after my dad visited me in Spain, he finally understood that this was my passion and he has been a big supporter all these years.