NAME: GUSTAVO FERRARI
CONCEPT: LA BRASA ARGENTINEAN GRILL
TITLE: MANAGING PARTNER
Chef: Americo Albornoz
What experience most defined your decision and desire to get into the food industry? I am passionate, like every Argentinian, for working the grill. Following our traditions, I gathered friends around the grill (parrilla) in my desert camp in the north of Kuwait on weekends for over twenty years. Many of these friends urged me to open an Argentinian restaurant and so I did in January 2015.
Where is your favorite place to shop for food and ingredients in Kuwait? Our main ingredient is beef, and being an Argentinian restaurant, the beef must be from Argentina and we import the best grass-fed beef. The rest of the ingredients used we buy at the vegetable market besides the fish market in Souq Sharq. I like the atmosphere of that place. While the building is relatively new, the vendors stands remind me of Kuwait’s early days.
What food most reminds you of your mother’s house, and why?
The “Empanadas” at La Brasa are made with my mother’s recipe and remind me of home. I remember my mother, early morning on Sundays, starting to mix the dough with her hands and chopping the meat with a knife. “Never with a meat mincer” she used to say.
When you want to go somewhere else to eat, where do you go and why?
I look for sea food as a radical change from the beef we have in our restaurant. I prefer small shops in Souq Al Mubarakiya.
Who in the world would you most like to cook for?
My friends. The “Parrilla” is a social activity in my country. It is almost a social ceremony. It starts with lighting the wood or charcoal fire. The men gather around the grill, chatting about football or politics and the women prepare the salads, setting up the tables. Children noisily play around while waiting for the meat to be ready. Then, at a call from the grill master (usually the host or the eldest man in the group) everybody sits at the table. They all know that the grilled meat has to be eaten when it is ready. Juicy, no blood. Hot, little pieces at a time. I have never seen a mother having to push her children to eat the“asado” (barbeque). Only after eating they would run away kicking a football or flying a kite.
If you were to leave Kuwait and could take only one kitchen gadget with you, what would it be?
My knife. It is a present from my late brother, given to me over twenty years ago. It is the ultimate tool for a grill master. Made by hand by a craftsman blacksmith, sharp as a razor. A firm grip with its handle covered with fine threads of leather and a perfect balance between blade and handle. We used it with the Argentinian Ambassador in Kuwait to cut the first Argentinian rib eye during the inauguration of La Brasa.