Fabiola Lairet, a Venezuelan woman with a passion for Japanese cuisine, has triumphed in Spain as a renowned “sushi chef”. Although his path has not been easy, Lairet has built a culinary empire between Barcelona and Madrid, backed by his title of “sushi chef” awarded by the prestigious All Japan Sushi Association, becoming the first person in Spain to obtain this certificate which seeks to guarantee the safety and health of diners in the preparation of sushi, especially when working with raw fish.
Fabiola Lairet, the first certified “sushi chef” in Spain, triumphs with her culinary empire between Barcelona and Madrid
Before entering the world of gastronomy, Lairet studied Civil Engineering in his country of origin, Venezuela. However, due to the “traumatic insecurity” she faced in her country, she decided to emigrate with her husband and two young daughters to Spain, where she found her true passion in Asian cuisine, especially Japanese cuisine. He trained at the prestigious Japanese cooking school run by Andy Matsuda, one of those responsible for the rise of sushi in California, United States.
In 2010, Lairet opened its first restaurant, Monster Sushi, in Barcelona. Since then, his business has been constantly growing, with food delivery services and the opening of another restaurant called Robata.
Lairet currently has four restaurants in Barcelona and has recently opened a new Robata in Madrid. In addition, it has three more inaugurations planned in both cities in collaboration with the investment group The Umai Group which provides financial support for its expansion throughout Spain and possibly in other places, always maintaining the essence of craftsmanship and taking care of every detail.
Fabiola Lairet: Succeeding in Japanese cuisine despite gender stereotypes – The inspirational story of a renowned sushi chef in Spain
Despite gender stereotypes in Japanese cuisine which suggest that women are not suitable for making sushi due to their higher body temperature than men, Lairet hasn’t let this affect her career.
“They are urban legends,” Lairet says in an interview. “There are men who may have a higher temperature than women but the solution is easy: when you are making a nigiri, you use a bowl of water and vinegar to submerge your hands and prevent the proliferation of bacteria and they are cooled with ice.”
Lairet is grateful for the path she has taken and attributes her success to her passion and dedication to cooking. His story has attracted the attention of The Umai Group, an investment group that has relied on its talent and vision to expand its business in Spain and possibly elsewhere. Lairet hopes to continue maintaining the artisanal essence of Japanese cuisine in its expansion, demonstrating that women can also succeed in a world traditionally dominated by men.
With her title of “sushi chef” and her commitment to culinary excellence, Fabiola Lairet has left her mark on the gastronomic scene in Spain. Their story is an inspiring testimony of perseverance, passion and determination and their hospitality emporium is an example.
The success of this renowned “sushi chef” restaurant lies in several key factors, according to her own perspective. First of all, it highlights the consistency in always maintaining the quality of the product and the constant search for improvement in every aspect of the kitchen. He considers that his gastronomic proposal is “very honest” and adapted to the Western palate which has been well received by diners.
Discover the success of Japanese cuisine in Spain: The story of an outstanding sushi chef and her unique culinary approach
In the current context of the rise of Japanese cuisine in Spain, the chef recognizes that there have also been negative situations, with the appearance of inauthentic or poorly executed culinary proposals. However, she maintains that her successful career is due to her dedication and constant concern to offer the best to her customers, in contrast to other establishments that open and close quickly.
Although in the first Japanese restaurants in Spain, the focus was mainly on sushi, there is now a wide variety of options to choose from, such as their “Robata” concept, with grilled cooking as the protagonist. However, the chef misses the concept of “kaiseki”, a luxurious tasting menu based on five colors, five flavors and five cooking methods that represent Japanese culinary philosophy. Although he admires this concept, for now, he doesn’t dare to incorporate it into his restaurants, since he follows the Japanese belief that repetition is key to culinary mastery.
The chef points out that the menu of her restaurants is the product of the multiculturalism in which she has lived and in which we currently live which brings richness and diversity to her gastronomic proposals. He considers that this openness to different culinary influences is a key element in the success of his restaurants.
In short, the success of the restaurants of this outstanding “sushi chef” is based on consistency in the quality of the product, the constant search for improvement, honest cuisine adapted to the Western palate, the care of its work team and the openness to culinary influences from diverse cultures. Its approach is based on dedication and constant concern to offer the best to its customers which have led to the consolidation of its restaurants in an increasingly demanding gastronomic landscape.