Meet the Chef: Julián Díaz, El Quincho

Born and raised in Argentina, Julián Díaz grew up connected to his mother's Peruvian heritage, which later influenced his curiosity to chase a career in cooking. Amazed by his family’s skills in gastronomy, Díaz found his passion and gained experience cooking in different parts of Argentina, such as Cordoba, Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and Catamarca. Today, he is the proud head chef at El Quincho.

Díaz’s minimalist cooking style is quintessential to Argentinian Parrillada, which is just ambers and a grill.

“It might look simple, but it requires knowing the process and lots of practice

to master it as you are working with a live fire during service,” Díaz explained. “The inspiration comes from where the heart lives, Argentina. We constantly try to emulate the flavours from home; if someone from Argentina sets foot at our restaurant, we want them to feel like they are at home.”

El Quincho offers some of Argentina’s most classic flavours, such as Empanadas, Morcillas (their version of black pudding), and chimichurri.

Looking forwards, Díaz said their goal for El Quincho is to take everything to the next level, which includes continuing to deliver authentic Argentinean culture to customers with the help of their fantastic team. Working alongside sous chef, Josh Falls, Díaz is working on a new menu to launch very soon.

Díaz believes one of the biggest future challenges will be moving to a more sustainable food industry. From reducing food waste to reducing transportation by sourcing locally, Díaz and his team strive to be conscious about how they cook with their ingredients.

“I’ve been doing a lot of research about fermented products, and I think it is something that we need to incorporate more and more into our lives. They are a fantastic source of probiotics and one of the best examples of a sustainable solution when cooking. As a chef, I feel the duty to encourage people to try them!”

One of Díaz’s career highlights has been building a restaurant from scratch and guiding his team through the process. And Díaz is beyond grateful for the support and influence his team has had on him over the years.

With dreams to take his culinary skills overseas once again, Díaz continues to learn as a chef every day, and he encourages anyone wanting to start the trade to enjoy the process.