Drawing on his experiences working with Steve Jobs and DJing all over the world, to being the pioneer of Peruvian food in the UK, chef and entrepreneur Martin Morales gives an insight into how creativity and business acumen can be applied to the world of restaurants, ahead of his keynote speech at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum in Dubai.
When I worked as one of four founders of iTunes Europe as head of pan EU, Steve Jobs and Apple taught me to think differently, to trust that the dots will join up in future and to focus purely on delivering the best possible customer experience.
In my last job before I became a chef, as head of Disney Music Group EMEA, Bob Iger and Disney taught me to think of the bigger picture and to maximise the story through the hub and spoke model. My DJing and record producing career, which took me around the world, taught me not only how to ‘understand the street’, that is, to feel the pulse of young people, be the first to spot trends and spot talent, but also, how to work with creatives and make creativity a central focus to find solutions and enable my business to always stay ahead.
These teachings, experiences and skills have led me to where I am today. But the key to all this has been to find and listen to my gut, and then to use creativity and my heart above all else. That’s how Ceviche Ltd has become not only one of the fastest growing businesses in Britain, but also broken a market with a new cuisine, opened a series of award-winning restaurants and created a high performing team.
Our motto is ‘Aqui se cocina con cariño’ – here we cook with love. This doesn’t only represent cooking, but it describes the way we care about every single aspect of our work. I’m proud to say that our staff love saying our motto and wear it like a badge of honour. If you love your job, you do it well. If you care about what you do, you do it well. And if you are led by an ethos of creativity, you can solve any problem, find solutions to any challenge and create new and innovative things that people will want to buy or be a part of.
Part of this is being creativity agnostic. We don’t simply believe we are chefs that cook. We also have expertise at a high level in creating videos, photography, events, multi-sensory experiences, music, art, theatre and cinema and get involved and master all these art forms with no boundaries between these and food.
On top of this, we share our expertise and what we do selflessly and generously. That’s why people follow us. That’s why we have our own YouTube channel ‘Martin’s Peruvian Kitchen’ and why we support greatly the work of our partner Andean children’s charity Amantani.org.uk. This is because we care, we are creative, we love what we do and want to share our passion for Peru with others.
We just follow our gut and I recommend that for anyone who works with food. At the end of the day, that’s where your food ends up, so you might as well be kind to it and listen to it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Peru to an Andean mother, but having lived in Britain for the last 20 years, Martin Morales is known as the pioneer of Peruvian food in Britain. Five years ago he sold his house, opened Ceviche in Soho, London and now owns four restaurants in the city, including the Michelin-Guide listed Andina in Shoreditch. Don’t miss Morales as he shares his business journey at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum 2017, being held from 10-12 April at Fairmont The Palm Dubai. To register: www.restaurant-invest.com.
Visit: CevicheUK.com and AndinaLondon.com