Connector June 2023

CONNECTOR.AE 26 CONNECTOR.AE 27 Dining Around Dining Around Chef ’s Corner: Daniel Delgado Chefs are the masterminds behind the smooth operation of any restaurant. With the help of their expertise and mastery in the profession, a restaurant can run smoothly and produce amazing dishes, with diners coming back for more. Chef Daniel Delgado, Head Chef at Lola Taberna Española is a great example of bringing his niche and heritage on the flavours of Spain, to all the dishes cooked. In 2002, Chef Daniel Delgado began his culinary journey in Spain, getting experience and honing his skills by working with talented chefs. Chef Daniel Delgado wanted to bring his culture to Dubai, and in 2013 moved here and has since been adding his flair to traditional flavours from Spain. In this feature, Chef Daniel Delgado shared with Connector his favourite late-night snack to his humble beginnings in the culinary world. How did you get started in the food industry? During my studies, I had the opportunity to work part-time at various restaurants, observing skilled chefs in action and witnessing their expertise. I was very inspired by it and felt that it was my true calling to the industry. I began my culinary journey at the age of 19 when I joined a coastal restaurant in Malaga, Spain, specialising in the art of paella-making. When I first started working perfectly complements the bold and intense flavour of the anchovies. It is a harmonious balance of tastes that never fails to hit the spot. What is the one raw ingredient you cannot cook without from your country? Olives, not only is it an ingredient with innumerable benefits for our health, but it also provides a very pleasant texture and is suitable for many dishes, including roasted chicken, seafood and salads. As olive oil is derived from olives, it represents Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. What is the best dish to try at your restaurant? At Lola Taberna Española, we serve a delicious Black Rice Paella with baby squids and alioli, a must-try. This dish truly represents the essence of Spanish cuisine. We take pride in following the classic recipe and sourcing authentic ingredients directly from Spain. To add an extra dimension of flavour, we finish our rice in a charcoal oven, providing the paella with a delightful smoky touch. The result is a paella with a thin, gratinated layer of rice on top and a crispy bottom, perfectly balanced with the savoury taste of seafood. When you savour our paella, you will experience the true essence of Spanish culinary tradition. there, I recognised it as an invaluable opportunity that I could not let slip away. While there were initial challenges, I never doubted my dream of becoming a chef. Over the course of two years, I was dedicated to perfecting my skills in this restaurant, and it was an incredible journey that led me to eventually oversee and manage the paella section. Today, I feel very proud to be part of Sunset Hospitality Group. My favourite aspect of working at Lola Taberna is being able to prepare some of the best paellas in the city alongside my team. It brings back great memories of when I first started my career and reminds me of how far I have come since then. What is your earliest cooking memory? During my childhood in the countryside, we would regularly gather as a family and prepare meals together, creating cherished memories. The dish that immediately brings back those early cooking memories is the ‘Cola de Toro’, a traditional Andalusian dish. What is your favourite dish from your country? My favourite is the ‘Fideya de Pulpo y Gambas’, a Spanish classic prepared with octopus and shrimp. This dish is very special to me, as I recall memories from my childhood of my whole family gathering whilst enjoying this dish, and celebrating different occasions. What is the one go-to and easy snack you love making for midnight cravings? My go-to and easy snack would be toast topped with brushed tomato, anchovies, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. It is a simple yet heavenly combination, and very easy to prepare. The toasted bread is my favourite part of it all, it is comforting and adds a delightful crunch. The tomato’s sweetness