Carlos Zamora | Cooking with Sense

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Carlos Zamora

Carlos Zamora was one of the high-ranking guests of the Spanish gastronomic scene that Recomiendo España had the privilege of interviewing in the edition of ASISA Madrid Fusion 2017. The chef and businessman who with his family leads the group Deluz & Cía shared with us a little of the philosophy and the passion that moves him in the management of his restaurants.

For those who do not know, Deluz & Cía. is a restaurant group originally from the city of Santander that started in 2006 when members of the Zamora family decided to convert the old house of their grandparents into a restaurant. It was this family alliance that combined the long experience of Carlos Zamora in catering industry; the enthusiasm toward social causes of the lawyer Lucia, his sister; and the talent and the eyes of photographers of his brother Pablo and his mother María Gorbeña which encouraged them to set up restaurants with soul and liveliness.

Carlos Zamora told us that he was glad that the organization of Madrid Fusion gave them voice in the world stage of the gastronomy. What enchants to listen the restaurateur is not only the success of the group Deluz & Cia., of which he is the most visible head, with its eight restaurants, turnover near 8 million euros, staffing of 180 posts and the dynamism of having opened 6 new premises since the inauguration.

What is beautiful about Deluz & Cía trajectory is the social concern that permeates its business strategy that is “to create restaurants with soul and charm, where you eat like nowhere else …” Sites that hook customers but that try to deliver a sustainable profitability valuing collaborators and suppliers which are key ingredients of the recipe of their success.

Carlos Zamora admits that Deluz & Cia. was born with the desire to be social in the hope of making gastronomy not only a cultural expression but also a potential vehicle for social and economic transformation. The project People Cooking with Purpose is one of the initiatives has been with them since the beginning: a “social catering” that integrates people with intellectual disabilities teaching them how to cook and to manage a kitchen in preparing hundreds of meals a day.

The social awareness is also present in the support of children in preparing organic food to 400 students of schools of Santander by the teams of disabled people who participate in the training programs sponsored by Deluz & Cía. As Carlos recalls, “one of the problems is that food also causes social inequality.” And the initiatives of the group in the social realms are aimed to promote social transformation through gastronomy.

The cooking with purpose that Carlos preaches is in the air in all the restaurants of the group … In Santander where everything started with the restaurant and catering Deluz, the Días Desur, La Taberna Marinera El Marchi, El Italiano and La Cantina del Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos. In Madrid in Calle Libertad in the busy Chueca neighborhood with the renewed Taberna Carmencita of more than 150 years of tradition, the Tasca Celso y Manolo and Vaquería in Blanca de Navarra.

As Carlos emphasizes, it is not worth any longer in the restaurant business just to have a good place, to be cool and to have a good service … It’ required searching for a socially sustainable performance. This implies not only philanthropic initiatives but a business model that is responsible and, I would say, generous, which values ​​the collaborators by training them to provide a service of quality and that they can live worthily with their salaries. It means valuing the surroundings where one is located … “Sometimes we forgot the philosophy with which restaurants were born centuries ago that is to feed the neighborhood. First, you must feed your neighborhood; Then your city and, of course, outsiders.” It also implies valuing the traditional and small producers in the preservation of the lifestyle and the culture of whole regions that are expressed through the gastronomy.

We hope that you enjoy the interview and if you happen to be in Santander or Madrid be sure to pay a visit to one of the Deluz & Cía. places. For more information, please access the web:

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