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Fernando Trocca, Masterchef

Person, Human, Clothing
Before heading up Sucre, Fernando Trocca led the Gaucho restaurant group

Argentinian-born restaurateur Fernando Trocca is masterchef at Sucre, an international restaurant chain.

Known for its open-fire cooking, the Latino eatery has repeatedly made its way onto the world’s 50 Best Latin American restaurants. A second location opened in London in 2021, and its newest dining space has just launched in Dubai International Financial Centre. 

What do you look for when hiring talent?  

I look for commitment, dedication, and passion, but what I find most important is a chef’s willingness to learn. In general, I’d rather train a chef from scratch because I believe in investing in talents and growing the employees within the company.

What counts for more – luck or hard work?   

Both. Good luck always helps in life; however, effort and hard work are key. No effort, no results!

What was your biggest ‘lucky’ moment?  

When I was 24 years old, I worked in Patagonia at a restaurant. While working there, I met a famous entrepreneur on holiday with his family. By the end of their vacation, we decided to partner up and open a restaurant together back in Buenos Aires. 

We launched it in 1991, naming it Lliers, after the city in Spain where the entrepreneur’s father was born. Within five years it became one of the most popular restaurants in Buenos Aires. 

This paved the way for my career. I consider myself lucky that someone would invest in me at such a young age. He gave me his complete trust and invested a significant amount of money in the restaurant without interfering.

Meal, Food, Dish
Squid ink paella and puff pastry Rogel filled with dulce de leche – just two of Sucre’s specialities. Source: Instagram @sucredubai

What one thing do you wish you’d done differently?   

I genuinely never think of this. I believe everything happens for a reason, and I take every mistake I might have made as a lesson to learn and grow from. 

If you could rule the world for a day, what three things would you change?   

I would make weapons disappear, along with narcotraffic. And I would make travel easier. I spend my life on a plane, travelling from Uruguay and Argentina to London and Dubai.

Dream mentor?

Renee Redzepi, who is chef and co-owner of the three-Michelin star restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. I look up to him because he is an innovator and thinks outside the box.

Francis Mallmann, who is one of Argentina’s most famous chefs, known for his open-fire cooking. He currently runs nine restaurants worldwide. I learnt a lot from him, especially about Patagonian cuisine with a focus on various Patagonian methods of barbecuing food.

Gato Dumas, who was the first Argentinian chef to “come out from the kitchen” and was very involved in media with many TV shows. He was the first to give importance to chefs in Argentina and take them outside the country. He is also the founder of the largest culinary school in Latin America, the Gato Dumas Institute, with branches in Argentina, Uruguay, and Colombia.

Sucre Dubai, owned by the UAE’s Addmind Hospitality Group, opened in August. Source: Instagram @sucredubai

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