Bringing Central American gastronomy closer to the Middle East

Bringing Central American gastronomy closer to the Middle East

Gabriela Chamorro, founder of Girl and the Goose

Gabriela Chamorro, founder of Girl and the Goose, is a Nicaraguan chef known for crafting contemporary Central American dining experiences. In this exclusive interview, the talented chef talks about her flair for food.

Your culinary journey is deeply rooted in your Nicaraguan heritage. What distinguishes Nicaraguan cuisine from any other? 

My culinary passion is rooted in reimagining Nicaraguan staples, which are also found across Central America, with an innovative twist. Inspired by my global travels, I infuse traditional recipes with contemporary flavors, resulting in a unique culinary experience. This blend of tradition and personal journey infuses my dishes with a complexity and experiential flair that sets me apart.

Furthermore, my menus, ever-evolving with the seasons, reflect my love for experimentation with different flavor profiles and techniques.

Additionally, I’m meticulous about the food I serve, insisting each dish marries simplicity with bold flavors and is presented with a feminine touch. I aim to always add a touch of innovation without compromising traditions.

Moreover, considering the various Central American cuisines, I find Nicaraguan cuisine to stand out in its unique way. It tends to offer a milder spice profile compared to Peruvian dishes. Yet, it boasts a vibrancy that sets it apart from the lively flavors of Mexican cuisine.

Do you use any Nicaraguan ingredients or techniques in your menu?

My mission has always been to bring the heritage of Nicaraguan cuisine a little bit closer to the vibrant culinary scene in Dubai. Rooted in timeless traditional recipes handed down through generations, my creations blend a modern and international flair. Preserving the essence of Nicaraguan cuisine, I aim to honor ancient techniques while infusing elements of innovation.

Moreover, Dubai is more than just a culinary destination. The country serves as a global hub for ingredient sourcing, boasting access to products from all over the world, including Central America. Personally, one of the ingredients I use the most is corn. Often overlooked, it’s a versatile and nutritious grain that represents life for us. For this reason, corn is prominently featured in my tasting menus, consistently captivating people’s hearts with its rich flavor and symbolic nature.

What can you tell us about the story of how it began and the success of Girl and the Goose Supper Club?

My journey with the supper club began by hosting dinners for my husband, Heimo, and his friends. Despite the nature of these dinners, our guests continuously praised my food and encouraged me to pursue my culinary talent. Eventually, in 2019, bolstered by a friend’s encouragement, I launched the Girl and the Goose supper club, marking a pivotal moment. The trial dinner, hosted for her colleagues, proved to be a great success.

Furthermore, after the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we halted operations, resuming only when restrictions eased, distinguishing our supper club’s adaptability. Juggling hosting a supper club and my Emirates career posed challenges, but after three months, I fully committed to my culinary path. I honed my skills at the Culinary Institute of Barcelona for four months, solidifying my shift from self-taught to certified chef.

Furthermore, graduating from the institute and fully committing to the supper club was a harmonious journey.

Lastly, at the supper club, I cultivate a dynamic ambience, sharing stories and fostering connections through interactive discussions, transcending typical small talk. This method results in unforgettable moments, guests sharing remarkable stories and even treating us to spontaneous live flamenco performances.

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations for Girl and the Goose Supper Club?

Over the past five years, I have had the pleasure of serving nearly 4,000 foodies in Dubai. Currently, I’m working on some exciting plans for the near future. Partnering with Ziad and Rowan Kamel, the visionaries of Rosy Hospitality, facilitates the realization of the Girl and the Goose restaurant. Together, we have been working on a very exciting project, and I can’t wait to share more details with you soon!

Furthermore, I aspire to sustain my community while showcasing Nicaraguan flavors, ingredients and recipes on the global stage. Committed to growth, I’m undertaking a Business and Leadership course at MAD Academy, founded by Rene Redzepi from Noma, and staging at Geranium in Denmark.


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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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