Eliana Cortes, chef de cuisine at Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort, has a penchant for traveling, food and wine. In this interview, she shares her past and future endeavors.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the culinary arts?
My passion for travel, culinary exploration and the rich tapestry of global cultures led me to embark on a gastronomic journey. After completing my studies, I relocated to Buenos Aires. There, I embarked on a quest to uncover new flavors and narratives. In my twenties, working with chefs from diverse cultures inspired me to explore different corners of the world.
What challenges did you face when you decided to work at Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort?
Upon my arrival at Hilton, I encountered a primary challenge: the language barrier. Fortunately, I swiftly adapted to this linguistic diversity. Nonetheless, this journey of culinary exploration has been immensely valuable. It helped me strike a harmonious balance and seamlessly incorporating these diverse influences into my own distinctive cooking style.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I had the immense privilege of collaborating with chefs from diverse backgrounds, including French, Filipino, Korean, Mexican, Italian and Japanese professionals. These experiences instilled in me a profound understanding of the importance of discipline, high standards and comprehensive knowledge within each culinary tradition. Indeed, this exposure has prevented me from sticking to a single culinary style. In fact, it broadened my horizons to continually seek and absorb more information. The most enjoyable part of my career is the moment of research and experimentation during the creation of a dish.
As you continue to grow both personally and professionally, what do you hope to achieve in the next phase of your career?
My upcoming objective is to further my education with a concentration on the administrative aspects of the culinary world. I am currently in the process of enhancing my skills through continued study, travel and learning experiences. My ultimate aim is to become an executive chef in the prestigious hotel industry.