I grew up in Argentina, where I developed my love of cooking under the watchful eye of my mother in our family restaurant in the Buenos Aires suburb of La Paternal. I then turned by childhood obsession into a profession, and cooking became my career. I served some long apprenticeships in five-star Argentinean hotels and restaurants, before moving to London to be part of the team to open Conran’s Orrery-Almeida in 2001.
In 2003 I moved to Melbourne and continued to hone my skills and work for Marcus Moore at the Sofitel and Raymond Capaldi at Fenix, before finally deciding to settle in Gembrook. It was in Gembrook that I met the Gordon family, and we connected over our love of food, and the idea to open The Independent, a restaurant serving traditional Argentinian food in the heart of Gembrook was born.
The Gordon family has been in Gembrook for five generations, running their family business making pottery, and supplying it to the hospitality industry for three of those generations. They owned a vacant property in Gembrook and had the vision to turn it into their very own restaurant and find a chef to collaborate with. We opened the restaurant in September 2014, and formed a partnership that is based on the love of food, family and Gembrook.
This month we will be sharing some of our favourite traditional Argentinian dishes that we serve at the restaurant. These dishes are all designed to be shared with friends and family, and by the end of the month you’ll have five recipes to make your own Argentinian feast at home.
First up, we have some maple roasted carrots served with a coriander pesto. Carrots are usually prepared in a boring way, in Argentina they are eaten grated in salads or roasted. For this recipe I decided to spice them up and make a fun dish.