Javier Vázquez Mariño, a passionate Sous Chef, currently working at The Aviary & The Office NYC. His gusto is all about fine dining, exquisite dishes, and the art of cooking. Apart from the chef falling in love with cooking, he also forged his bonds with photography and traveling. You'll certainly get an appreciation of Javier's candor and dedication towards his passion in the interview below.
What was it that inspired you to dedicate yourself to the kitchen?
I was born in La Coruña, land of seafood and good food. I live in New York, where enjoying eating is a challenge. Influenced by quality food, which never failed in my house, and a continuous curiosity to discover new flavors, my passion for cooking was born. You can say that I am a lover of the quality product, which is difficult to achieve in a city like New York and that drives you to look for your life to surprise your customers every day.
What is the most exciting thing you've tried?
One of the most exciting culinary experiences I have ever had in my life was in Sri Lanka. After spending two weeks on the island, I ended up in a treehouse in the middle of the Dambulla jungle. There you look for life to eat, exotic fruits, plants and mushrooms that grow in elephant droppings. I can compare that experience with the one at Etxebarri restaurant, where I had one of the most impressive gastronomic shocks of my career.
What is the biggest reward of your profession?
The biggest reward of being a chef is to be able to surprise people with every bite. But it is even more comforting when those clients are people close to you, who know you, and who know that what you cook is a reflection of your soul.
How do you combine photography and cooking?
Combining the kitchen with your hobby is complicated since both depend on the strength of will and the time you dedicate to them to progress. Photography is a very demanding hobby, but at the same time incredible and enriching. It depends on you, and only you, how much you can learn each day and the results are obvious.
What are your favorite restaurants?
I do not have favorite restaurants. I have places where I have learned and I have had great moments. For me, eating at the same place every day makes the tasting routine. So, I prefer dropping at multiple restaurants to be surprised with new tastes and cooking styles. I always highlight restaurants in town, where you eat like at home, but in turn, I love discovering and letting your senses distort you.
What is it for you to live in the present?
To Live In the Present is to live knowing what moves you, what motivates you and what you are passionate about. Thinking that everything you do can be improved, trying to make each day different and providing you with learning. Challenge yourself and overcome everything of you in any aspect, but above all enjoy the moment. The efforts you make to get what you want is in vain if you are not able to enjoy the small achievements of life.