René Andrade. A cook who builds your dreams one by one.
By: Carlos Dragonné
Let me tell you those little surprises that you give tours. On my most recent trip of almost two weeks to find the jewels that make Arizona a place in which to travel, I arrived at Sanctuary on Camelback, a resort that I already put on my to-do list to come to stay, sister property of Mountain Shadows -which I told you already-because I needed to get to know your spa, then tell them. But there was something new that went on my list thanks to the urgent recommendation of palates quite knowledgeable. So I crossed the doors of Elementsrestaurant with Beau Macmillan, who placed a perfect defeating Bobby Flay in the third season of Iron Chef. But the greatness came with the name of someone else. Someone with history and mexican roots and is back to be a sign that the kitchen is built from dreams and hard work. Welcome to Scottsdale. The menu now serves Rene Andrade.
Here it is not just good food. It is the pursuit of a dream from a young age. It’s about knowing that the dreams involve sacrifices and that you have to break the barriers that you put in the way. The kitchen Elements I need to test it in depth to be able to tell them everything. But what I tried left me wanting to stay for a few days living there. But this is a story of someone rather than something. Here there are the steps of a cook and not so much the results of a kitchen.
Rene came to Arizona to study at the Culinary School and with the goal to grow, to become an owner of your own dining destination. Had to leave behind friends and family. He had to leave behind his father who refused to understand the way that I wanted to continue and how important it was to tell stories through the dishes. So almost disowned him, he crossed the border, looking for a job and found a school. In that order, but not necessarily with such ease.
We are in front of someone who found the vocation of business and love for cooking since he was a teenager. And is that already have passed many stories from the streets of Nogales, selling seafood in front of the bus station, which was a business that was smart, instinctive way.
But there is also here a story of someone who knows how to seek and take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to him. From one of the scholarships of the first year of Barack Obama, went to culinary school while working at a restaurant that came with a single demand: Pay the minimum and give me to eat. Otherwise, what I resolve I. And go that resolved it.
Then, with work and dreams, you were opening the doors. From one station to another and from event to event, your Chef in The House Brasserie will be introduced to Beau Macmillan who saw him work for he said: “I’ll take it”. The only condition that René got to leave the place and move towards the Elements was one that is not common for those who carry their years in the kitchen. “I’ll go with you, but I start from the bottom again.”
5 years ago, and through that talk and the first steps in the kitchen that today is the first Chef Latin and has come out to put together events, special dinners and work alongside Samantha Sanz with which ensures that not only shares the view of the kitchen, but the passion for the job. “The day I saw her cooking was when I said ‘It’s’ with whom I want to be”, he says proud and smiling in the midst of a discussion about the plans to go back to the origins of the cooking of the corn.
Pursuing dreams is something that you should have all of you with the engine of the soul power as in the case of this native of Nogales, who knows that to master the kitchen is to be in constant evolution and growth. Hence the reason mentors are so important in the journey of someone who today directs the de facto cuisine of Elements in the dinner service and who knows that your place is built on the basis of those who opened the doors and helped him to be what he can be.
And, then, she tells me about the projects Elements, a place that allows you to connect and meet people with ideas such as Lunch & Learn, a culinary experience, where diners learned not only to cook, but to understand the ingredient and what it means the importance of the quality of the same and of the sustainability of the kitchen.
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It is here that the discussion returns to the dreams and sacrifices of a kitchen that has been built with the passage of time and the discipline to understand that the doors do not open themselves as if by magic, but by hitting on them until the hinges give in.
This cook that of a child with his best friend put together a successful business of kitchen in Nogales and crossed the border to pursue the life of the fire and the flavors, leaving behind the family business and her father telling her that this was not a career for him, are the ideas and dreams of what he knows he is destined to achieve. And if you doubt that, ask your dad who, for the first time a few months ago, crossed the gates of Elements , and tasted the cuisine of René, with the understanding that that child who wanted to be a chef, and is now a professional man who has earned the most important thing: your respect. The rest, as we say, is the least of it.
If something we do is eat, so come to see all the places in which we eat.