Alfonso de la Dehesa, Executive Chef, Banyan Tree Phuket

  • 6 Feb 2017 11:00 AM
Alfonso de la Dehesa, Executive Chef, Banyan Tree Phuket
Originally from Spain, Alfonso soon earned a reputation for exceptional quality in his approach to culinary innovation and presentation. His considerable talents found their expression at ARZAK, a 3-star Michelin restaurant in Spain – and then again at El Bulli, another 3-star Michelin restaurant, considered by many to be the best in the world.

Alfonso next became Chef de Cuisine at Spain’s most successful catering company, Catering Medens. He remained at that position with his subsequent appointment at Jumeirah – the first of several 5-star hotels he has worked for in the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Mexico and now Phuket, Thailand.

After 4 years as the Executive Chef at the Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués Resort, he arrived in Thailand from Mexico with a highly-developed focus on modern and international cuisine, honed over decades of experience at some of the world’s most distinguished restaurants. One of Alfonso’s new signature dishes is a Phuket Lobster Salad with Remulade Vinagrete.

1. You’ve gathered much professional experience already, how do you bring that to your current assignment?
I have put new ideas, new techniques of cooking, and development of work.

2. In total how long have you been an expat, and where have you also lived abroad?
I've been working more than 20 years and I have lived in 4 continents.

3. When you first arrived here, what surprised you most about Thailand?
What I was most surprised about were the aromas and special flavors of Thai food.

4. If you could live anywhere in the world as an expat, where would you choose?
Asia is an ideal place to live as an expatriate.

5. What has been the biggest achievement in your life so far?
Professionally, that I have worked with Ferran Adrià at el Bulli, and with Juan Mari Arzak in San Sebastian, they are at the top of the world of gastronomy, each has 3 Michelin stars, and also that I am now here at Banyan Tree Phuket!

6. What is the secret of your success?
The most important is humility, perseverance and working very hard to reach success.

7. When did you start cooking, and why?
I started in 2004 in Culinary School in Madrid ,Spain ,Because of my Mother, a very good cook!

8. What is your fondest food memory?
Christmas Turkey from my Grandmother, with Foe grass, and Armanag.

9. Which chef do you admire most and why?
Chef Juan Mari Arzak and Ferran Adria are my mentors.

10. How often do you 'play with food' to create new dishes?
The most important is to create new dishes but never copy from a chef.

11. What is your favorite food to eat on your day off?
Any food but I like to stay at home with BBQ with my friends.

12. What was your funniest kitchen incident?
In el Bulli with Ferran Adrià, when I went to fetch water from sea to clean oysters and the wave took me whole.

13. What is your most treasured possession?
I have more than 1000 cookbooks in my private library.

14. What was the luckiest moment in your life so far?
Working with masters of the kitchen as Ferran Adria and Juan Mari Arzak and getting to know new countries and wonderful people.

15. What are you looking forward to most and least in 2017?
That everything goes as well as it is now.

16. What is your professional goal for in 5 years time?
I would love to have my own restaurant.

17. What question would you ask if you interviewed yourself?
It is very easy to criticize the cooks but nobody knows the sacrifice involved in this profession and when you see a chef give encouragement to be there his sacrifice is three times further than your think.

18. What would you say is your personal motto?

  • How does this interview make you feel?