Kitchen Reporter – Francisco, Lorca Restaurant
Originally from Granada in Spain, Francisco Aparicio, brought a taste of his home cuisine to Carlisle when he opened his restaurant, Lorca, last year.
Working in the industry since he was 15, Francisco has almost two decades of experience and is just as passionate front of house, as he is in the kitchen.
Did you always know that this is what you wanted to do?
No, I studied Tourism and Business at university and I have a masters in hotel management, so I thought I would end up on the hotel side. But as soon as I started to work in kitchens and learnt how it all works, I knew I liked it.
What does food mean to you?
Food is one of the most important things that we do in life, everyone eats and everyone likes to eat good food. They know straight away when something is good and when something is not. Food is a very serious thing in life, which I suppose is why I’m very strict, passionate and professional about it.
Where do you get your inspiration for your dishes?
My older brother and my mum are also chefs, so I suppose my inspiration comes from them. I learnt the basics off my mum and whenever I have a question I always go to them.
If you weren’t a chef what would you be doing?
I would probably be a tour guide. I like to be in touch with people, I’m very patient and good at explaining things. I studied tourism and like history a lot and actually did a few tours when I was younger, in Granada. I speak three languages as well.
Who would be your fantasy dinner party guests?
The Spanish chef, Alberto Chicote, is amazing and I like Gordon Ramsey, he’s very good. I’m a bit like him in the sense that when I’m in the kitchen I change completely; if things haven’t been done the way the way I like them to be, I just go ballistic.
How do you unwind?
I like to get in the car and pick somewhere and just drive; I don’t like to plan too much.
How do you spend your free time in Cumbria?
I like to go to other restaurants and try them and see what is new; what they do and what different ingredients they use that I could try. I am always trying to keep ahead of the competition and you have to be aware of what they do. If they are using new exotic ingredients I have never heard of, I just order them in, give them a try and see what I can do with it.
What up and coming trends do you predict?
Spanish cuisine features a lot of tapas and it’s becoming more and more popular here. Chorizo plays a big part in the menu we have, people like it a lot. Paella is also very popular, we actually do a paella with chorizo which is very good.