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Meet Chef and Pastry Chef Barbara Suarez

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Bogota, Colombia South America.

When did you know you wanted to be a chef?

I knew I wanted to have my bakery and be a chef, probably when I was about five or six years old. Because I always wanted to work with sweets, candy and chocolate all my summer camps and free time were about baking and learning how to work with the ingredients.

Where did you study?

I studied civil engineering in Bogota, Colombia and then moved to Boston, Massachusetts where I graduated as a chef.

Is there a chef that you admire the most? Who and why?

There are two chefs that I will always admire, one of them is Julia Child because she brought French cuisine to the American public and the other one is Jacques Torres, I admire him because he is a very professional pastry chef and chocolatier. I have been fascinated with the art of working with chocolate and have learnt so much from him

Tell me about your favorite wine.

My favorite wine is Champagne. Love the crispness and the delicacy in the taste that quickly melts away after swallowing leaving your mouth fresh and clean.

What is your favorite food memory?

Growing up my parents taught us to eat many things and one of those things was rabbit which is now one of my favorite dishes. Traveling in Mendoza, Argentina I ate at a small diner in a winery and one of the plates on the menu was rabbit and when I started eating and enjoying this immediately brought me back to my memories from childhood, what a great memory!

What is your best cooking tip for a novice?

My best cooking tip is to cook or bake with love, love what you do.

What do you like to eat when you’re at home?

When I’m home which is in Bogotá, Colombia I love to have a soup called Ajiaco, a 3 potatoes and chicken soup with corn, avocado, fresh cream, caper and a sprinkle of fresh cheese and an herb called guasca that gives the distinct flavor to the soup. Yummy!

What do you think is the most challenging food to cook with?

The most challenging thing for me is actually baking in different parts of the world because the altitude, the sea level and the ingredientes themselves change completely. The ratios of the ingredients in a recipe have to be altered.

Final question, what would be your “last supper” meal?

My last supper will be “Ajiaco” with a glass of Champagne even if it does not pair. Cheers!

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