MARÍA GALLEGOS

Head chef, El Som­brero

What's On (Abu Dhabi) - - EAT // REVIEW -

The chefs I’ve trained would de­scribe me as en­er­getic and happy even when things go wrong. I al­ways try to keep a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude and make the best of a sit­u­a­tion – I try not to see the bad, I take the good and learn from it. I’m from Mex­ico and crazy comes nat­u­rally with my na­tion­al­ity.

Once, I was a chef at an F1 af­ter-race party and I cooked for Paris Hil­ton, Akon and Ri­hanna. I was told they en­joyed the food but I did not get the chance to meet them. I have had the chance to cook for the Royal fam­ily of Malaysia and Queen Le­tizia of Spain, plus pres­i­dents in Mex­ico and the fa­mous chef, Mr Nobu. I ac­tu­ally met and spoke with him, showed him in­side my kitchen and we took a photo to­gether.

I have tried scor­pion in Thai­land, crick­ets and worms in­fused in te­quila (a tra­di­tion in Mex­ico) and croc­o­dile. I have also eaten ze­bra, lion and os­trich, which if you do not cook prop­erly can be tough. My favourite strange dish I have ever tried is an ar­madillo stew.

In my spare time, I love to dance – Latin mu­sic, of course. I can never re­sist danc­ing to a lit­tle salsa. If it is Os­car sea­son, I try to watch all the nom­i­nated movies, and oth­er­wise I read a novel, usu­ally a fan­tasy story.

The junk food I can­not re­sist is French fries from Mc­Don­ald’s.

Sher­a­ton Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 6pm to mid­night. Tel: (02) 6773333. Taxi: Sher­a­ton Cor­niche. sher­a­tonabud­habi­ho­tel.com

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