Q&A: Hotel Missoni Kuwait's new chef de cuisine

Ivan Tarrago Sole joins the hotel just in time to revamp the Luna menu

Ivan Tarrago Sole
Ivan Tarrago Sole

Spanish national Ivan Tarrago Sole joins Luna restaurant at Hotel Missoni Kuwait as chef de cuisine, just in time to overhaul its menu

What do you have in store for the Luna revamp?
I want to keep the spirit of Luna the same – colourful simple and sexy – but we are adding a new sushi bar and a short tapas menu. They’re small dishes but they have great flavour. They’re not strictly traditional dishes – all the makis in the sushi bar are a fusion of Japanese and Arabic tastes; and the tapas are created especially for Kuwaiti tastes.

How much will your Spanish roots influence the new menu?
Some of the new dishes will be inspired by my home country – I will never forget my Catalan roots. My homemade flavours always follow me.

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I have a lot of favourite Spanish foods, but I would have to say the top ones are: el pa amb tomata (homemade toast with tomato split); all i oli (garlic mayonnaise); i escalivada (baked and marinated vegetables with olive oil). They’re always available on my table.

How well represented is Spanish food in Kuwait?
I don’t think Spanish food is represented well here. I am the only one bringing these kind of culinary arts in.

What do you like most about working at Missoni? 
This is my first job working for the hotel brand. I love the design and the colour, and I like to use nice plates!
 
Have you worked in Kuwait before, and what challenges will bring?
This is my first working in time in Kuwait, but I like working with multi-ethnic staff and sharing cultures. I’ll look forward to cooking for a new audience, too.

I look forward to making some classical recipes with different products, while being true to my roots but respecting the tastes of the people here. It will be good to get to know the local people, and find out the best ways to please them.

Will you be using any local ingredients? If so, which, and why?
Yes, I want to use some of the local vegetables and lamb. The finished dishes always taste much more fresh if you buy produce locally.
 
You’ve had a varied career – what has been the highlight so far?
For me, the highlight was the first time I was promoted to chef de cuisine; the first time running a restaurant – it was a big challenge for a young chef.
 
What do you want to achieve during your time at Luna?
I want develop my management skills, to be a good training teacher to Luna staff, and create a strong and successful team.

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