#139 Carlos García2018-01-15T19:53:17-04:00

Project Description

IN ALTO. LIKE HOME

#139 Carlos García

“A place where people can feel that they are invited to a home-made dinner, they are welcome and can be delighted by”

Astrid Hernández

Camila Lessire

Los Palos Grandes, Caracas

Since I was a little child the cuisine caught my attention, but I never thought I could make my living of it. On Sundays I’d spend the whole day with my Grandma, she was an excellent cook. I talk about her and the first thing that comes to my mind is the smell of her seasonings. She’d prepare dishes that were hard to make and took many hours of cooking. Mondongo, roast beef or stuff like that.

She was the pillar of our family so we always met at her place and spent the day around the table. I for one could be with her the whole day in the kitchen without noticing it. For us it was a ritual to seat at the table to eat. We were like twelve people. We had breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner together. We already knew that Sunday was to be at Grandma’s and I liked that a lot.

However, at that time I wanted to be a sailor, as my father. I imagined I would go across the seas and have a lot of adventures. But at 16, when I finished high school he told me: ‘forget about it, it isn’t for you, it isn’t for anyone’. Then to get my feet on the ground, my aunt, who worked at the Eurobuilding Hotel, offered me to do an internship in the feast section. I went there every weekend but never saw it as a life choice. Parallel to that, I tried studying law and after that administration, in one I lasted a month and a half. I lasted a week in the other one. I think I had the typical teenager uncertainty of not knowing what to do.

Thanks to a cousin of my dad’s, who told me about studying cooking in Barcelona, Spain, I made up my mind and chose that path. Talking to him got me thinking: why not try? A week later I was on the plane, that’s how my journey through the cuisine world started. It’s been ten years since I landed in Alto, the restaurant, which I, along with my partner, had always dreamed of. A place where people can feel that they are invited to a home-made dinner, they are welcome and can be delighted by. Where they make memories around a dish and the experience turns to flavor.

My ritual when I go to the restaurant is to greet each and everyone of my team. Then, I tell them: ‘Guys, we arrived home, let’s cook, let’s devote ourselves’. For us it’s very important to feel like a family, we seat everyday together to dine and try to go beyond a work relationship.

When I take the cooking apron off I like to go hiking to the nearby hills. I don’t think I have a special connection with nature, but the change of environment disconnects me a little bit from everything else. I need to break the routine, routines wreck me so I struggle keeping them. That’s why I enjoy these moments so much.

And of course, my wife and the baby are important, too. Alejandra and Laia take a great deal of my time. During the week I get out from Alto in the afternoon, go home and spend time with them until about eight or nine in the evening, then I go back to the restaurant when my daughter falls asleep. My weekends are to share time with them. Family is truly a pillar in my life; otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it.

I worry about not taking advantage of time; many times I feel that it’s something you lose. I know I’ve stopped doing some things; however I wouldn’t go to the past again to live them. Of course, if I had some similar opportunity, I’d enjoy it as much as possible. In spite of that, I’m satisfied with my life and I wish to be able to live it with my family, never stopping to be around the table.

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