Chef’s Corner with Sergio Navarro
Sergio Navarro brings an inventive culinary perspective to his new role as the Corporate Pastry Chef of SUSHISAMBA, the dynamic restaurant group that unites Brazilian flavors, precise Japanese technique and Peruvian culinary traditions.
Sergio trained at his Basque mother’s side, learning first-hand about the speciaties of the region’s fresh, seasonally-focused country fare. He subsequently received a degree in the culinary arts from Spain’s prestigious Hotel Escuela Comunidad de Madrid, and proceeded to cook in a variety of renowned Spanish kitchens including La Broche with chef Sergi Arola – the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars while Sergio was pastry chef!
At SUSHISAMBA, Sergio seeks to provide diners with imaginative dishes that inspire the senses. In dishes such as Arroz Con Leche with sake gelatin, fresh mango and dulce de leite ice cream or Tres Leite with guava espuma and cachaca flamed mango, unexpected textures and temperatures intermingle.
journeyPod had a chance to ask the culinary mastermind a few questions:
Where did you get your start in cooking? Did you learn to cook at home? Where did you study?
I learned the basic techniques of cooking at the culinary school in Madrid, Spain. I learned about culinary aromas and Spanish flavors from my mother. My passion with cooking was something I identified with as a young kid.
Have you traveled anywhere that has influenced your flavors and recipes?
I have traveled many places, all which greatly influenced my cooking techniques and broaden my culinary pallete. Traveling helps me appreciate all the different ingredients that are available to me as a chef. For example, SUSHISAMBA’s Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian heritages allow me to explore the many different nuances that are available to the cultures’ different approaches to cuisine.
If you were on Iron Chef, what ingredient would you hope would be the themed ingredient for the cooking battle?
Mushrooms – I love earthy flavors!
Respecting the traditional flavors, while utilizing the new techniques that come from Spain.
What’s the most exotic ingredient you’ve ever used?
In Spain I had to make a cartierre dinner dessert using different types of edible flowers. I was not told what I would be using until it was “show time.”
Do your friends call you for cooking advice?
Sometimes – most of my friends are chefs though!
What do you like to do when you’re not cooking?
I like to be at home with my family, enjoy ride my Harley, biking and trying new restaurants.
It’s 2 a.m. … you’re leaving work, where do you head for a cocktail or a late night snack?
One of my favorite spots is my bar and my kitchen….at home!
Check out our review of SUSHISAMBA on our Miami Destination Guide!