Cooking up a storm

23nov2018-alicia-arencibiaWe've recently appointed a new cook at The British School of Gran Canaria. It required dragging her away from a hot stove to secure this interview. Ladies and gentlemen, meet and greet, Alicia Faber Arencibia.

1.) Welcome to The British School of Gran Canaria, Alicia. Who were your culinary heroes growing up and why?

Thank you so much. I feel very welcome and greatly appreciated by all. It truly is a pleasure to be part of the great family of The British School of Gran Canaria.

Whilst I had never contemplated working in a school before, this opportunity has turned out to be a wonderful experience which is fuelling my creativity. My management skills are evolving and also increasing, if possible, my desire to cook. Working with children is very rewarding, although it requires great concentration due to food allergies and intolerances.

I fell in love with the kitchen because of the smells and laughter emanating from the cocina in my grandmother's house, and through my mother with her delicious family meals. Both stirred a love for cooking... as I grew up I became interested in gastronomy and obviously I was learning from the forerunners of the kitchen like Escoffier and little by little also from Rick Stein, Carme Ruscalleda and Gordon Ramsay amongst many. They made me dream... and my love for the stove turned into a passion. Then I discovered another passion, the pastry, and I became a creator of delicacies.

2.) What's your catering background?

I started helping in the kitchen of my mother's restaurant and I was learning in different establishments while studying. Then I decided to start my own catering business 'Delicias de Alicia'. I've also completed a master's degree in pastry.

3.) Could you share your signature dish with us and explain why it's one of your favourites to make.

This will sound very simple: my favorite food is cottage pie. As a child, my grandmother prepared it especially for me every birthday. I keep that memory with a lot of love in my heart and there is no star dish that can top Grandma's Cottage Pie.

4.) Papas arrugadas or patatas bravas? And why?

Always wrinkled potatoes. I'm Canarian. However, the bravas are very good!

5.) What sort of changes can we expect to see on the menu?

My kitchen is all about homemade dishes. I do not use precooked meal, nor additives. Instead, I insist on fresh, natural and very varied products.

I try to introduce less common foods, to accustom children to eat everything, using my traditional recipes and also more modern ones, but without forgetting the nutritional balance and allergies/intolerances. We are a dedicated and wonderful kitchen team who cook with a lot of love and we hope you will notice and enjoy it.

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