13 Jun '13, 6am
My favorite chef in Singapore, Daniel Chavez, of Ola (formerly of Santi), on Singapore, Peru, and cebiche.
Daniel’s curriculum vitae is impressive. From a brasserie in Florida to work experience in Lima and Cusco, he took a leap of faith and moved to Spain to do a hospitality course. That one decision led him to Valencia, then Barcelona, where he met his mentor Santi Santamaria . Daniel gained experience next to Santi, but mostly understood the value of a true boss. Santi led by example, he made sure every member of his team counted, from dishwasher to maître’d. After Barcelona, Daniel went with Santi to open Ossiano Restaurant in Dubai. A few years later, he’d become executive chef of Santi Restaurant in Marina Bay Sands . That’s where Chef Chavez learned a practical lesson: Singaporeans love seafood. Then, the concept for Ola , Cocina del Mar (Wave, Cuisine of the Sea) came along, a Spanish seafood restaurant in the modern heart of Singapore’s financial district.