Q&A with our Pastry Chef Juan Arellano

Find out a little more about our Pastry Chef Juan Arellano


* What inspired you to become a Pastry Chef? I studied cooking in Colombia, took internships and going through the various areas, I loved the pastry area. At that moment I decided that this would be the area of ​​my specialty. I am passionate about this area because it is so precise, because it is an area that involves chemistry and this motivates me to be more creative and use my imagination.


* Who was your role model in the kitchen? I met a Chef named Alexis who was part of the World Cup of Pastry, I saw how he went to Paris, seeing his creations and achievements worldwide, it was undoubtedly a source of inspiration for me.


*What are your favorite flavor combinations? Personally, I really like mixing coffee with chocolate, it seems to me that they are two flavors that complement each other perfectly in confectionery. Being born here in Colombia, I also love to work with acid flavors and a lot with tropical fruits such as Maracuya.


*Name 3 tools in your kitchen that you couldn’t live without. In confectionery, the whisk, a spatula and a ruler are essential. The art of pastry requires a lot of precision, a lot of detail and the rule is essential to create the perfect dessert.


*What do you think about current trends/restrictions such as gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free? As a Chef, one respects the diet restrictions since there are risks in people with allergies or important illnesses. It seems to me that these restrictions are sometimes taken to the extreme and are more fashionable, but one works to adapt to them and offer the best customer experience.


*What is the most complicated dessert that you have had to prepare? I am currently preparing to compete in the World Championship of Sweet Arts in Paris and the desserts that I am preparing are without a doubt the most complicated challenge since 18 countries compete and there are several categories such as: preparing a dessert with chocolate and sugar only, a dessert that contains 50% coffee, a dessert that incorporates 4 different textures and flavors and 3 types of petit-fours that contain 50% chocolate. Truly a tremendous challenge! This competition will be on October 28 and we hope to put the name of Colombia high.


*What is your “dream dessert”? The profiteroles.


*What is the dessert that we should all know how to make? I think a mousse is a simple and sophisticated dessert that requires very few ingredients and can be wonderful after dinner. All you need is cream, flavor gelling agent and crushed cookie! A Delight!


*What is your favorite ingredient? Without a doubt the chocolate. It is an extremely versatile ingredient that can be worked in all its forms: liquid, solid, sparkling and always offers a robust flavor that is difficult to resist.


*Tell us a little about the desserts at Sofitel Legend Santa Clara. At the hotel we work on a wide variety of desserts using local and fruit flavors. We have a dessert cart in the El Jardin restaurant that includes fruit tarts with fresh jams, vegan flan made with almond milk and tropical fruits, seasonal tarts such as kiwi, mango and pitaya, we have a spectacular coconut pie and a dessert tropical based on mango, passion fruit and banana. A feast of flavors! You have to come to try the delights of our restaurants.

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