He didn’t know it yet, but when at 14 Sergio Arconada would make lunch and dinner for himself (both of his parents worked in the hospitality industry), he was slowly developing his purpose and passion: cooking. When that passion grew so strong that he opted out of university and chose cooking school instead, there was no turning back.
Today, Chef Sergio Arconada takes on a coveted and humbling role, that of Executive Chef of the Marbella Club. Ten years at the helm of former Executive, Juan Gálvez, Sergio has practically had his hand at all of the venues at the hotel – from curating show-stopping gala dinner menus to leading the kitchen of MC Café, with an Asian-Mediterranean fusion. Prior to coming to the Marbella Club, Sergio made it his objective to work at nearly all five-star hotels in Marbella.
Young, respectful, hopeful and steadfast, Chef Sergio begins his stint as Executive Chef with a few thoughts:
How do you define your style?
This is a tough question because when you’re Executive Chef, your style is shaped by the clientele, their tastes, their travles and their life experiences. If you don’t adapt, you can be a great Chef, but not a great Executive Chef.
Personally, I’m crazy about food. I love Mediterranean cuisine as much as Asian food, America’s way of cooking meat, Japan and their traditions, healthy food, molecular cooking…But if I had to choose, I will always stand by a style that is based on choosing quality produce and products, with minimal manipulation and respect for their innate flavours.
Now tell us about the pressure…
It’s true that this is a huge challenge, but I’m surrounded by such an incredible group of chefs trained and passionate about the Marbella Club style of service, and a Sous Chef like Jarek Asynger that it makes things infinitely easier. This is a true adventure, but I’m confident that this is just the beginning of a long and successful relationship.
What are your plans for the hotel’s gastronomic offering?
My intention is to take it to the highest level in our industry. Refresh the style while maintaining our spirit intact and make each of our restaurants a reference.
If you could leave one of our dishes on the Marbella Club menu forever, which would it be?
I’d rather give you a full menu. I’m sure Count Rudi will agree with me:
Veal Tenderloin with Morrel Sauce
Get to know Sergio!
What brings you back to life? My family and travelling
Favourite dish at the Marbella Club: The fresh pasta with lobster at the Grill.
Heroes: Alexander the Great
Villains: Anyone that’s ever abused their power throughout history.
Power breakfast: Something chocolaty and fresh juice with a bit of ginger.
A stress-reliever: Music and a massage!
Soundtrack of your life: Anything Queen and ‘Viva la vida’ from Coldplay.
One chef: I have many Michelin-star chefs. In the industry, Simón Padilla (Corporate Executive Chef).
The best advise you’ve ever gotten: Be patient, everything will come.