There are Chefs who work for many years in various kitchens around the world refining their craft and making a name. And then there is Miguel Maestre, a Spaniard who has made Sydney his home, and powered his way up the ranks. Miguel was always destined to cook, from a family who lived and breathed good food and wine, his destiny was pre-determined from a young age.
Miguel first began cooking when he was 21, when he moved to Scotland to experience the world. It is also where he learned to speak English. His progression was quick, after working his way up through the ranks at Indigo Yard, Montpelier's Partnership (biggest monopoly of restaurants in Edinburgh). Miguel then returned to Spain, before moving to Australia 6 years ago. He has been fortunate to work in some of Sydney's premier kitchens including Bather's Pavilion, Bel Mondo and Cru, before taking up the position at Minus 5 at Circular Quay. At 27 years of age, it was a big test, but the reviews and customer feedback proved it was worth the leap of faith. Miguel became, Head Chef of Tony Bilson's Number One Wine Bar in Sydney's Circular Quay. Working under his friend and mentor Manu Feildel, he impressed the Sydney food scene.
And now Miguel is opening his first restaurant in Manly in November 2009, El Toro Loco (The Mad Bull). This massive undertaking will be one of Sydney's largest kitchens, where Miguel will serve is wonderful Tapas food and amazing Paella. More El Toro Loco's are planned to open shortly, with another site in Sussex Street in Sydney's CBD.
Miguel has begun to develop a role in the media, with his first series of Boys Weekend, alongside friends Gary Mehigan, Manu Feildel and Adrian Richardson. The show has aired in over 100 countries worldwide and will be aired on Network Ten in December 2009 on Sunday nights. He has a second series due out in early 2010 called Miguel's Tropical Kitchen, which will air on Lifestyle Food Channel and around the world.
Miguel has appeared on Channel Ten's "9am with David & Kim", Channel Seven's "Better Homes and Gardens" and cooking spots on MixFM in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Miguel's passion for food and life is infectious, and he has developed a talent for incorporating Spanish ingredients and cooking styles into his modern Australian menus. This is one Chef to watch, and at the same age as Jamie Oliver when he first hit our screens, he is sure to be gracing our televisions more often in the future.