The story of a Michelin star in «DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Resort & Spa Reserva del Higuerón».
We keep on discovering the restaurants of this magnificent complex and today we would like to introduce you to the chef Diego Gallegos, who has kindly accepted to share with us his story and to present us his passion for cooking that gave him the opportunity to become one of the famous chefs of the Costa Del Sol with his restaurant “Sollo“ and one Michelin star owner.
We could discover that Diego is a very simple and kind person, a person who loves his work and does it with a lot of love.
- With what age did you decide to cook? How did your chef career begin?
The truth is that I began my career of chef more because of the needs rather than anything else. I was studying Law in Madrid and I came to the Costa Del Sol for holidays. To win some money, I started to work in a beach restaurant (“chiringuito”) in Benalmádena by washing plates. One day the fried-food chef was off and this day I started to cook for the first time. And I loved it a lot.
- When did you start creating your own dishes?
I went to study to the “ LaConsula ” from the year 2006 to 2008. There I began with the practices in restaurants and started to create my own recipes. After the practices I moved to Granada and started to work with Rio Frio company. Then I opened my first restaurant “ Sollo “, which was located at that time in Benalmádena Pueblo. The business started to go very good and it is in May 25th, only 6 months after the opening of the restaurant, that I received my first Michelin star.
- Which kind of cuisine do you prefer to eat at home?
I rarely eat at home because I most of the time I am eating out. However, if I have my day off at home I love to make lentils soup. Nowadays I am taking a lot of care of my body and I prefer to eat something light.
- Why is your restaurant called “ SOLLO “?
There is an expression in Spain “ you are fat as a sturgeon ” and in my restaurant everything is done from the river fishes only.
- How would you describe your restaurant “ SOLLO “?
Our values and rules are the following:
– Taking care of the sustainability;
– Offering a unique experience to the client by using unique products as a result of pure investigation. All our dishes are inspired by nature. We take care of the details in the presentation of every plate by using pieces of wood and other natural supports.
- In one word, “ SOLLO “ is …?
- Which criteria did you use to create your menu?
We use high quality products bearing in mind the environment, such as the sturgeon, the trout, the glass eel etc.. All the dishes are healthy and in my restaurant nothing is thrown away. The rests of the products are used to create soups and other dishes.
8. What would be for you the most important thing in the art of cooking?
For me the most important thing is that the dish is tasty and good. I want to hear my clients say: “How good was this dish! ”. To get it, it is necessary to treat very carefully the prime matters to give them some unique flavor.
9. What is, according to your opinion, the biggest problem of the gastronomy and the restaurants nowadays?
It is to cheat the client. What comes by written in the menu has to appear in the plate. In my restaurant the kitchen is open so every client could see the process of preparation of his plates.
10. Diego, which plans do you have for future?
I want to give to knowing more my stall “ Arequipa “in the gastronomic market of Malaga and in November perhaps I might open a new place.
11. Which advice would you give to the future chefs?
First of all, they must know that cooking at home does not have anything to do with the profession of chef. To be a good businessman in the world of the gastronomy, it is necessary to travel and to work hard because in the end of the day they are going to have to work when their clients will be enjoying. Everything has to be perfect because the clients are those who give us job. Before cooking was not a prestige and now it is a business.
12. And, finally, Diego. If you were not chef now you would have chosen the profession of …?
Musician! I play the battery and I love the music but I also love to be chef and what I do now.