Gustavo Hernandez comes from the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo. There, he was the owner of four restaurants serving local cuisine, the star of which is grilled beef. When he came to Romania, he continued his passion so today he is the owner of a restaurant specialising in Uruguayan cuisine. We asked Gustavo what made him think this type of restaurant would be successful here: “I wanted to open a restaurant in Romania to show how we work with beef. Uruguay has the world’s largest consumption of beef and is the biggest exporter of beef. In my country, the cattle are bred in a natural environment, on pastures, stress-free, so their meat is very good.”
Gustavo Hernandez also told us what brought him to Romania: “Love, I think. My wife is from Sibiu and we have been together for 14 years. In Uruguay, I used to own four restaurants. Because of the daily stress and the political changes in Uruguay I decided to come to Romania to look for a more peaceful life. The lifestyle here is more relaxed. Romania is also very good for business. I first came for a trial period and everything went great!”
Our interlocutor told us more about his life in Romania compared to Uruguay: “Politics has changed a lot in Uruguay, it’s a matter of safety there. It wasn’t because my business failed that I left, but because of safety problems. Romania is a quiet, safe country, you can walk freely on the streets and you’re in no danger. The business environment is also very good. We want to expand. We started with one restaurant, we built a really big grill. We use wood for the fire, although normally you would use coal for the grill. We like to cook the beef on a wood fire, in front of our customers. It’s a completely different taste. That way you don’t lose the essence of the taste of beef.”
Gustavo has two children, a 5-year-old girl called Sofia and a 2-year-old boy called Emilian. Gustavo loves Sibiu, but has also fallen in love with all the other places he has visited in Romania:
“I liked everything: Constanta, because I also come from a seaside city, Montevideo is on the shore of the ocean. I liked everywhere I’ve been to in Romania. Everything! Then I came to Bucharest and I thought it was great. I don’t know why people complain it’s crazy, for me it’s great!”
In his restaurant, Gustavo cooks grilled pizza, grilled vegetables, and of course, grilled beef. He also makes typical Romanian dishes at his customers’ request. We asked him about his favourite Romanian food: “Minced meat rolls in pickled cabbage leaves and tripe soup. In my restaurant, where I also cook, I have two Uruguayan chefs. In fact, I love all Romanian food. You have extraordinary dishes! Great cuisine!”
Having already become Romanian, Gustavo speaks good Romanian but sometimes mixes it with Spanish, which is quite similar to Romanian.