I sat down to chat with Chef Roberto of Sabor con Magia to discuss his catering business, life, dreams and what inspires him when he cooks. An hour into the conversation, it struck me, this guy uses a lot of F-words! Not the kind that makes you question the company you keep - but the kind that make for an engaging conversation. My first question was, what word would you use to describe your brand of cooking, his response, Fusion!
Enter the Flock of F's.....
Roberto is originally from Oaxaca. He is the 5-year business owner and Chef of Sabor con Magia in Sayulita. He operates out of a private commercial cooking location, and you can reach him on line or by phone. He handles everything from the menu to the flowers, table setting, music, and entertainment. He has a team, but he is very hands-on. The Fusion of his cuisine is Traditional Oaxaca Mexican meets Modern Coastal Seafood. Although, he also mentions that he enjoys the challenges of cooking for vegans, vegetarians, and those with special dietary requirements or concerns. Roberto operates year round, catering to small and large weddings, birthdays, private family and corporate events. One of his signature offerings is a special barrel aged tequila that he brings to every event that he caters.
D: What inspires you when you are cooking?
Roberto: Family, Freshness, and Flavor!
D, privately: (that's 3 F's!)
D: What makes your cooking stand out from other cuisine?
Roberto: Farm-to-table, Family recipes, Focus. Focus is very important, and I research the source of my ingredients for the best quality for my event menu.
D, privately: (more F's...)
D: What do you like about living and working in Sayulita?
Roberto: I can enjoy my family and Mexican Traditions a lot, but in Sayulita I feel very Free.
D, privately: (say no more)
D: What has led you into this working career?
Roberto: Family, my mother had her own catering business. I helped her a lot and it was infectious for me. I loved doing the events with her and learning from my Mom.
D: Are there any chef's whom you you admire and why?
Roberto: Yes! First my mother! I also like Gordon Ramsay. He is a chef with good ideas, approachable cuisine, and strong opinions.
D: Gordon Ramsay is also known for his hot temper, does that make you uncomfortable?
Roberto: No, I just think he is passionate about his work and has a lot of Focus!
D: Would you like to describe your first catering experience in Sayulita?
Roberto: Yes. I catered a private family birthday in a residential location. I was very nervous. I served Coconut Shrimp, Guacamole, my Holy Mole signature dish, and of course cake and tequila. Later, everyone was very happy and dancing....and they invited me to join them, so it was a lot of Fun in the end!
D: Would you share with us your craziest catering experience(s)?
Roberto: Some of the bachelor and bachelorette parties are pretty crazy, and I am sworn to secrecy as a professional. But I will say that those Fiestas can get quite crazy!
D: Do you have any aspirations for the future?
Roberto: Yes, continue to grow my business and have a Family. Wait! No that one later, first I need a girlfriend!
Further along in our conversation, Roberto said he really enjoys the cooking classes that he offers. These are classes that are held in the clients Casa or Villa. It can be an 8-hour day or two subsequent 4-hour days. The first part of the class is sourcing the food at the local farm, or market. He takes the client directly to the local fishermen as well. Once the gathering of ingredients is complete, the cooking class begins... followed by a great meal!
Some of Roberto’s signature dishes are Coconut Shrimp with large shreds of coconut pan fried in coconut oil, Classic Guacamole, Holy Mole (Mama's recipe), BBQ Arrachera (flank steak), Chocolate Avocado Mousse with crispy coconut, and Flan (dulce leche).
Then I tell him about a quote by George Bernard Shaw that I had once read:
"There is no love sincerer than the love of food" - and I ask him if he agrees with that quote? Roberto answers, "Si, D'acuerdo!", an ethereal look grows on his face.
D: What are you enjoying most about your business right now?
Roberto: I am Realizing my dreams, I am happy to be in Sayulita, I am grateful for the opportunities. My energy is on Focus and Fusion.
So I say to myself, "Who on earth can argue with that?" I feel better for having spent an hour chatting with such a happy person, who is grateful for what life has to offer in Sayulita. Sabor Con Magia is more than just a business, it is a Fabulous Filosophy!
Roberto of Sabor con Magia can be reached here.