Hospo CheckIn: Alejandro Saravia

Chef Alejandro Saravia, of Pastuso in Melbourne and UMA in Perth, planned to open his new venue, Farmers Daughters at 80 Collins St in early 2020…

We checked in with him to see what the plans are for the new venue and how he, his family and his teams are going.

  1. You were due to open Farmers Daughters this year, how have you managed a new concept with a pandemic?

Farmer’s Daughters is a project that has been on the making for a long time (3 years) more than a restaurant, we always consider us to be an embassy for Gippsland in Melbourne.

During this time we have focused on  working as part of the Gippsland Community and be a channel to promote and educate the Melbourne market on the diversity and high quality ingredients that Gippsland provides, also the biodiversity of the region and encourage people to adventure and visit Gippsland more often when the current restrictions allow us to travel to our regions.

Farmer’s Daughters is due to open on mid-January 2021, and we are very much looking forward to it.

  1. What has surprised you about yourself during this time?

During this time I have personally learned how to be more patient, take some time to review things before reacting to making decisions.  I have always been very active and energetic in everything do and sometimes I have made decisions impulsively that were not the best.

I have learned to slow down and value my time more and not to jump on the first opportunity out of enthusiasm.

Also to leave my phone aside and be present with my family and friends, and not invest so much time on social media or answering emails.

3. How are you, your family and your team?

My family is doing really well, Coral and I have obviously spent more time with the boys (Lucas 3 years old, Gonzalo 2 years old) and it has been amazing to see them grow this year despite how challenging this year has been. Coral has started to focus on her long time passion for fashion creating a fashion styling consultancy that aims to help people to find their true style that will help them to bring more confidence and empowerment in their lives.

With my teams, It has been challenging at the beginning dealing with uncertainty and new challenges in our industry. We all make a decision to focus on the positive and stop worrying about things that we can’t control, there is already a lot going on.

I am very proud to see how every single team member has risen and grown during this time. At Pastuso Samuel (4 years working with us starting as a commi chef) has taken the head chef position and leading the team during this challenging year alongside Nick (Restaurant manager) working together and supporting each other.

Xerxes and Gianni at UMA and Ten Acre Block at Pan Pacific Perth, are leading their teams and also supporting the whole kitchen brigade at the hotel. Utilising this year on training and development of the young chefs and apprentices, alongside Camilla, UMA’s restaurant manager who is now more involved in the Hotel’s operation.

David, the head chef at Farmer’s Daughters, is thinking outside the box and using this time on research and drafting training plans for the kitchen brigade who will join us soon in order to reflect our philosophy of provenance and seasonality alongside Scott, venue manager working on every small detail from the service side of things, to the training and service structure.

As you can see I am very proud of my team and the people that work with me in the restaurants, it’s always rewarding to see them growing and evolving.

Pastuso

UMA Perth

Farmers Daughters