Diego Irrera, 1844 Restaurante, Mendoza, Argentina
The beloved Francis Mallman restaurant in Argentina’s Mendoza Valley, where Diego Irrera is head chef, is a tribute to the wines of the region paired with Andean cuisine, employing Incan clay oven cooking and grilling techniques for their exquisite meats. Italian-born Diego has worked his way up the ranks at Francis Mallman establishments in Buenos Aires, Patagonia and Mendoza, coming to embody over time the wood fire and cast iron cooking style behind the earthy good food of Argentina’s Indians and gauchos.
What are you most excited about with regards to participating in this year’s World Gourmet Festival?
It’s really exciting to participate at the festival, to have the honour to represent such a great cook as Francis Mallmann and the opportunity to share our typical and simple cuisine, through the language of the fires.
What is the one dish you’ll be preparing that visitors to the festival shouldn’t miss?
Our empanada mendocina (a typical West-Central Argentinian dish).
Describe your cooking philosophy.
Our cuisine is simple and sincere, with tradition. Defined flavours, recipes where the fire reveals roots.
Are there any key ingredients you’ll be bringing with you from home?
Dulce de leche.
What do you never travel without?
My travel book and recipes, my pencils and favorite colours.