Meet our Head Chef, Beatriz Maldonado Carreño (Bea)
Behind every successful supper club, you will find a great chef. Supper club chefs can range from armature chefs who are taking their first steps into the culinary world, to self-esteemed worldwide professionals. We guess that’s part of the fun of a supper club, is that you go in with an open mind to the culinary genius you are about to acquire.
None the less, we would like to introduce our Head Chef Beatriz Maldonado Carreño (Bea). Bea and her team have been busy at work putting together our seasonal winter menu that will run between November to January. However, we thought it would be a good opportunity for you to get to know her before service commences.
I grew up in Bogotá, Colombia.
I love maths and I from very early on thought I was going to be an engineer. I actually trained as one – I am an electronic engineer. I never thought of being a chef. I come from a family of traditional jobs (doctors, engineers and economists), so cooking wasn’t a path I even considered.
In my family (as pretty much every Latin family) everything revolves around meal times. But my grandfather on my mum’s side, was what today would be called a foodie. He liked different ingredients and often came home bringing some weird stuff that then had to be prepared. I spent most the school holidays and weekends with my grandparents, so I was always exposed to different foodstuffs.
My grandmother on my dad’s side was an excellent cook, particularly for sweet stuff. My dad has 10 siblings and we are in total 32 cousins, and we use to gather at the grandparents’ house on Sunday afternoon. There was always something delicious waiting for us.
So I guess that’s where the love for food comes from, great memories from childhood.
After coming back from the USA, I worked as an engineer for a while (everyone kept saying that I would like it, so I gave it a chance). And then I went to Argentina to train as a chef. Back then there wasn’t any culinary schools in Colombia and I had fallen in love with Argentina when visiting before.
When I was studying to be an engineer, I realised that it didn’t make me happy. After graduating I went to the USA to work for the summer in a resort, and it turned out that it was a training facility for the American Culinary institute. It opened a new door for me, suddenly the realisation that being a chef WAS a career opportunity.
I did work placements in Argentina as part of the training, I worked in Chile and then returned to Colombia where I worked for Astrid y Gastón, a Peruvian restaurant by renowned chef Gastón Acurio, under head chef Virgilio Martinez both superstars in the culinary world. After a couple of years I opened my own restaurant which I had for 3 years. Then I came to London to do a diploma in kitchen management. Here I worked in a 2 rosette restaurant in a hotel in Westminster, and then at the Sanderson hotel, where I worked as a pastry chef for a while. I then became the head chef at a Southamerican restaurant in Islington called Sabor and Barrio Shoreditch. After a break when having my children, alongside running supperclubs I worked at Corazón, a Mexican restaurant in soho.