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Damián Betular: Making patisserie into art
El pastelero del Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Buenos Aires seduce a huéspedes y comensales con los sabores dulces y refinados de sus creaciones.
Damián Betular is young but has built a long career as chef in five-star kitchens. After graduating in Professional Pastry Chef at the Argentine Culinary School (IAG, for its Spanish acronym) in 2003, he travelled to gain experience in patisserie in places such as London and New York, he did his internship in various Argentine hotels. Finally, he joined Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt as Pastry Chef, where he became a popular sensation.
- How did you learn to cook?
My mother and my grandmother are largely responsible for my career as pastry chef. Their love for patisserie could be felt all over the house every day. My mother always used to prepare a cake awaiting us on the table when we came back from school, for our afternoon snack. Of such times, I can also recall counting the days out for the weekend and go to my grandma’s house to prepare everything we were going to eat on Sunday with her.
- Was becoming such a renowned chef a life changing event?
In my case, nothing really changed. Of course I am grateful for the recognition, and it is the result of many years of efforts. I think I am best known in my town, as I was born in Dolores (Buenos Aires), a small city that is very affectionate to me every time I go back to visit my family.
- What’s your view of the contemporary Argentine cuisine?
I see it establishing itself at the worldwide level, full of really talented chefs and confectioners. In my personal experience, when I started studying, my role models were the European chefs, but that has changed and now we are accomplishing amazing things. Let’s aim even higher!
-What keeps on inspiring you every day to work in the gastronomic industry?
My team inspires me every day; we are twelve people working on a daily basis in order to offer a unique experience to many people. We work like a family, for better or for worse, but a family after all.
- What advice would you give to the young that are considering studying cooking or pastry?
Set a goal and make every effort to achieve it. In this profession, one must miss many things, but it is really rewarding when you see a person eating something you prepared and you put a smile of satisfaction in their faces. We create experiences, we are part of unique moments of the people, and I think that this makes up for the fact that we must miss important events in the life of our family and friends.
-How important is a glass of wine in the preparation of one of your dishes?
Just as in savory dishes, wine in patisserie is highly important. If we opt for a good wine, the desert enhances the flavors and offers a party of senses in the mouth.
I use wines both to accompany desserts and in their preparations. In this last menu we include a Malbec macaron and a late harvest ice-cream, so we can play with different techniques and seasonal products for our menu to be based on 100% Argentinean products.
- What do you think of Bodega Luigi Bosca’s wines?
Luigi Bosca has been with me ever since I started working in the gastronomic industry. I choose them and I will keep on choosing them since I can completely identify with the Arizu family, always pursuing excellence and trying to surpass themselves from day to day.