“ You need to develop good taste in order to cook well. Then the rest comes spontaneously...” - Roberto Cortez
Co-owner and co-founder of ASADA, Roberto is originlly from Nicaragua and relocated to Greenville in 2007 with his life and business partner, Gina.
Roberto graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Industrial Design. Freelancing in and around the Bay area, Roberto was able to both explore and hone his creative skills in multidisciplinary areas of design.
Food has always been a huge passion in Roberto’s life and after relocating to the Greenville area he began formulating a plan to cross something big off his bucket list. Having no formal culinary education did not impede Roberto’s idea on starting his entrepreneurship in the food industry, and on August, 2012 ASADA Food Truck officially opened for business.
Inspired by tradition and motivated by innovation, Roberto doesn’t consider himself a “chef” but more of a “creative cook.” He explores his passion for good food by his own trial and error method; constantly tweaking ingredients until the dish feels, looks and especially, tastes exactly right. Roberto believes, “You need to develop good taste in order to cook well. Then the rest comes spontaneously.”
As a visual artist, Roberto often compares cooking to painting or creating art in general. His love for art coupled with his artistic talent is evident in ASADA’s imaginative and innovative menu offerings. “Cooking to me is like painting, with an empty plate as my blank canvas. Developing unique culinary dishes follows the same basic creative process. By utilizing a variety of cooking traditions combined with exciting new flavors and textures all blended into and highlighted with splashes of color, a new culinary masterpiece is born.”
** If you want to explore Roberto’s art work, visit: www.robertocortezfineart.com
Roberto believes strongly in the following principles:
• Always explore all possibilities. Use all your abilities and talents to create something new and worthy.
• Like music and art, food is also a key to better understanding different cultures and can serve as a universal language.
• Good healthy food should be available to everyone regardless of education or socioeconomic status. Also when dining out, healthier and more affordable meals need to become the norm, not the exception.
• In less than a decade, exceptional Latin American food in the US will be at the top list of the most demanding clientele ― “Latin America is an undiscovered and almost infinite treasure for traditional and innovative gastronomy, it can be simple or very sophisticated. Watch the development of new trends in hyper-regional with global influences of Mexican, Central and South American cuisine full of big and bold flavors; and most recently a food trend that is making its way, the innovative cuisines of Peru and Brazil.”
When Roberto is not busy creating ASADA’s new specials or involved in the daily operation of running both a busy brick and mortar restaurant along with the ASADA food truck, his leisure activities almost always include some form of creative endeavor. He usually can be found in his studio sketching out a new design or working on a new painting. When time permits he also enjoys reading, photography, exercising and traveling. Part of his greatest joy in traveling, whether overseas or just around the Upstate is being able to explore new places, enjoy new flavors and experimenting and learning something new.