Ricardo Zarate - July 2019


Hear from industry leaders about their guilty pleasures, the oddest thing in their refrigerator, their inspirations and take on new trends. Learn more about the people behind the foods and dishes you know and love - and others you SHOULD know and love. We've asked all of questions and have the answers for you here.

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July 2019 Edition

Featured Chef:
Ricardo Zarate
Chef and Restaurateur

July 2019 Edition

How would you describe what you do for a living?

I’m lucky that I am doing something that I am passionate about. I simply share the food of my childhood and my country with people every single day.


Your Peruvian influence has proven to be successful in the culinary world with fusions of Japanese, Chinese, and European flavors. What are your favorite cuisines to work with? Are there specific flavors that you love experimenting with?

Japanese would be the ideal cuisine. It is the perfect balance with Peruvian flavors. So opposite but so similar at the same time. As for a flavor, anything with citrus. I love how it can brighten up almost any dish.


What advice would you give to young aspiring chefs or who are just starting out in the restaurant industry?

To be passionate about what you do and to not compromise. If you have a path and a goal, strive for it everyday.


When did you know you wanted to be a Chef? Was there an ‘aha’ moment in your life where you knew this was your destiny?

When I was young and started cooking for my family. I always watched my mother cook and waited for the day she would let me cook in the kitchen. When that finally happened, I knew it was I wanted to do for the rest of my life.


What is the newest culinary trend you see emerging that you’re using yourself?

The only trend I identify with is to ultimately know where your food is coming from. It is so important to me and I am glad to see restaurants and chefs taking pride in their produce and meat.


With all these new trends coming out, do you find it hard to stick to the culinary traditions you once learned from your mother? Or do you find combining new techniques with old customs fun?

A little of both. I love using the sous vide technique but finishing those items off on a charcoal grill. It is a healthy blend of the past and the current.


If you could share one surprising thing about yourself, what would it be?

I absolutely love photography and try to learn as much as possible each day.


What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today?

Being shy at a young age but I have overcome that and now love speaking in front of crowds.


What can attendees expect from your demonstration at the 2019 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo?

A lot of fun.


What can your fans expect from you next?

Growing my brand. Be on the lookout for plenty of upcoming projects.


Bonus Question: If you had to go to a deserted island and could only bring 3 things to eat, what would they be?

Fish because it is what I love to eat most. Rice because I have that in almost every dish and last but not least, tacos because they can be delicious and so diverse.