Camilo JañaMagazine Flavour | 30 Nov 2017
AN "OBSESSION" FOR LATIN AMERICA
Camilo Jaña is Chilean and arrived in Porto 12 years ago. The name is familiar to us from restaurants like Cafeína or Terra, places where this chef built a history as a cook. His interest in cuisine occurred during his teenage years, time in which Camilo started to practice cooking "in a very amateur way". At the time, still in Chile, at the young age of 15, practically alone, with two passions arising – cooking and design. In fact, he studied Interior Design, but then gave it up. Arriving in Portugal when he was in his twenties, he came to meet his sister, who had long since left Chile, and his future began to be made almost as soon as he landed here. When he arrived in Porto, he went to lunch with his sister at Cafeína and at the table, beside him, was Vasco Mourão, owner of Cafeína Group. At the time, Camilo didn´t speak a word of Portuguese, but plucked up courage and asked Vasco to do a training period in the restaurant’s kitchen. Actually, courage is a characteristic that he has never lacked. Courage and stubbornness. And this was the only possible way to become the chef he is today – “I knew nothing about cooking, and had no preparation, but I`m very determined and studied a lot. I devoured books”, he recalls. He began as a kitchen helper, but Camilo`s interest and passion for cooking made all the difference.
Today, at age of 38, his partnership with Vasco Mourão still lasts and together they have made Cafeína Group a real empire. However 2017 brought much more to Camilo Jaña. A few months ago, the Chilean chef finally saw his dream restaurant come to life. After, the summer of 2016, Camilo and Ruy Leão served ceviches in Parque da Cidade´s gardens, Jaña did not let the concept die and gave the Panca a home. The chef`s "obsession" for Latin America gave birth to the new Panca – Cevicheria & Pisco Bar located in Porto´s center.
Featured in ROOF 11
Text: Isadora Faustino
Photos: Isadora Faustino and Tiago Lessa
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