Kiko Martins in an interview. "What gives me joy in life is doing things well done" – Chefs and Restaurants

Kiko Martins in an interview. "What gives me joy in life is doing things well done" - Chefs and Restaurants

This culinary experience came following a cruise. Was it the first one you did?

I had already taken a cruise with my family, also from Royal Caribbean, in northern Europe. We started in Sweden and passed through Latvia, Estonia and St Petersburg, Russia. It was in winter, a very different height from this. At that time, he had been curious to take a cruise in good weather, in order to enjoy the swimming pool and the water activities that these ships propose.

I think the incredible idea! I, with four children, think the idea of ​​being in a controlled space, safely, with amusements that appeal to adults and the young, is a very revolving solution. With the advantage that while we are sleeping, the boat is moving, and when we wake up in the morning, we soon have another city to visit. We now have a cruise from Miami to CocoCay and then to the capital of the Bahamas. It was always a different place on each of the three days. In the morning we always have this arrival in the cities.

I imagine the feeling of arriving in Lisbon on a cruise, in a gleaming entrance there by the [ponte] April 25, by the Tagus River … It must be a magnificent thing! I remember very well the departure of Miami. We were just going out and seeing those sluts in the harbor, those huge mansions in the middle of the islands. At the time, I thought how would it be to take a longer cruise, with more days and more space?

I wanted to know more cities here in this area, the region of Saint Martin and other small colonies that had different influences. We were in a colony of English influence but it was very much in the future to discover the colonies of Dutch influence, those of French influence … Each one must have its peculiarities and its funniest side. I was very curious …

On a trip like the one you did, you end up going to a lot of cafes and restaurants, on and off the boat, even at the airports. When you eat in these spaces, do you always evaluate the things you eat? Can you abstract yourself from this analysis or not?

I think it's hard for us chefs to abstract ourselves. It's our profession! We always have a side, not criticism, not judgment … It is more interior analysis. The thing that stunned me most about the cruise was the logistics of serving 5,000 people within three hours. This factor leads me to be much less critical and much less analytical. It takes me more to have an attitude of questioning how they manage to do this management.

I was able to visit the ship's kitchen and realize the organization and analyze how they do things. And I was stunned with several points! First, what they do is a forecasting job, an anticipated forecasting job. They analyze beforehand the type of customer they will have. If you have an American customer, they know that you have to ask for certain tickets. If they have a Brazilian client, they know that he / she has to ask for other … They, through the age group and the nationality of the clients, are able to anticipate what they have to produce on a larger scale.

Then there is something very funny. How do they do it with an à la carte service? We order an entree, a plate and a dessert and, even with a very detailed forecast and with a very great anticipation capacity, there is always a margin of risk in these things. The kitchens are arranged almost as if they were a rectangle, almost every section is a dish.

Each of the kitchen staff makes a single dish and each of the waiters goes after the cart and takes the dishes from the group to which it belongs. And that's an amazing thing, which we had a chance to see. When we, a large table with 10 people, make the order arrive the 10 dishes at the table at the same time with the fantastic cooking points.

They have the capacity, in a service of 5,000 people, to still be able to respond to the requests of people who want a good, medium or badly aged steak. Sometimes, in a 20-seat restaurant, we missed things like that and it was an amazing thing. It literally takes off their hat. Another thing that is funny is the quality of the ingredients they use, which is downright good!

I still highlight the amount of things they do locally. We may think that, for example, in a vessel of this kind, the pastry is all frozen. Quite the opposite! They have a bakery here inside the ship, which is where they produce the bread daily and several times a day. It is highly commendable the gastronomic work that is done in these spaces. For me, it was a very big learning …

Moreover, there is usually a whole series of influences that blend. There are typical dishes of Italian cuisine, there is Mexican and Malaysian cuisine, French and Asian influences …

All! This is another funny thing, and the workforce as well. There were many Filipinos, many Indians and many Mexicans working there … With all the confusion that must reign in one of these kitchens, how can they guide such people so well and do such a unique job? For me, these spaces are a real school. I even enjoyed spending two or three weeks on a cruise, not in the fun part, as was the case now, but in the kitchen.

I would like to do this to see how they organize themselves and how they create such objective fulfillment models that they can then standardize. Even in the drinks … We ordered a piña colada in a bar at one end of the ship, we go to the other end and it is done in exactly the same way, with the same rigor, with the same technical file. I think this is a very commendable job!

Jamie Oliver has a restaurant on the ship where he traveled, Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas. Would you also like to have your space on a boat like this?

I guess so! It will possibly be an idyllic and utopian dream to have a restaurant here but it is synonymous with the potential that a chef has. From the potential of a boss's brand! I think Jaime Oliveira [graceja com o nome do chef britânico de 43 anos com vários programas na televisão] has been doing an incredible job.

It is undoubtedly the best communicator I have ever seen on world television and this is to honor. Even in a country like England, without culinary culture, he managed to get Italy the simplicity of Italian gastronomy with the father of his kitchen, Genaro Contaldo.

And then he spread the Italian gastronomy all over the world. It has a very strong brand. It makes a very well made food. We already have a restaurant in Lisbon. There are several in England … There are already many in the world, even to navigate the oceans and the seas of the planet. This company of Jamie Oliver is even to take off his hat …

A restaurant on a ship would then be a greater ambition. But it will certainly not be the only one. What is your biggest ambition?

I think my biggest ambition is to continue doing a great job with gastronomy in Lisbon and to be very proud of what I do. In three months, I will open a new space, which will not be anything like any of the previous ones. And I think it's this desire to always want to innovate, to want to bring the world to Portugal …

It is not for [restaurante] The Butcher is running well I'm going to open one more The Butcher, it's not because Cevicheria is doing well that I'm going to open another … It's the will to do different things and not be afraid to fail, which I think it's very important. When we are afraid of failure, we become much more trapped, much more anxious …

We get a lot more sense of wanting to do more basic things … I think that's what gives me joy in life, it's doing things well done. If one day I will have a restaurant on a cruise ship, I do not know … I do not say no, but I think it's a utopian dream …

And, in relation to this new space, what can be known?

It can be known that it will be in the square of Luís de Camões [no Chiado em Lisboa] and that will have things to do with my childhood …

One of the guests of the trip to Miami and the Bahamas was the fado singer Cuca Rosetta. Chef Jose Avillez has already written a letter for a fado. Was he able to venture out there too?

Ui, ui, ui … I have no way of writing. The writer at home is my wife, Maria [Bravo]! I already know Cuca I do not know how old … We had already made some pilgrimages on foot to Fatima together. I've known her since I was 14 …

I really like the claw that she has to sing and I think that represents this new generation of fado in a very beautiful way. Now, do I have the ability to write a letter? No … Maybe Maria! And if I did, I'd write it very well, really.

He says running is one of the best ways to see a city …

Yes, on the morning of the last day of the cruise I tried to convince Pedro [Fernandes, apresentador de televisão, radialista, guionista e humorista, que também integrava a comitiva da RFM Royal Caribbean Selfie Trip] to come, but he would not … I got off the boat at 08h10 and ran 10 miles in Nassau.

I was able to see a good part of the city during the race. It was only an hour and a half, but it is possible to have, in this way, at least a perspective of the city. I remember that when I did my other cruise in northern Europe, I made a 30-kilometer race in St. Petersburg, during which I passed through a good part of the city.

And you run every day?

I try to run about four times a week. The body asks me!

And, in addition to the new restaurant, is there more news in perspective?

For now, it's just the new restaurant, which should open by summer times. This if all goes well …

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