Born in Barcelona, Midland Spain, Javier has found that his passion for cooking comes from his family. “My family had a poultry and game stand in a busy market - in the center of Barcelona, where I spent my whole childhood by helping them with different tasks, including the shopping and explaining to customers which product is best to choose for their dinner. This experience gave me the opportunity and deep knowledge on fresh products, nutritional values and I was able to develop my communications skills,” says Executive Chef Javier Lopez.
By the age of 18, he knew what he wanted to do, and, following a culinary arts degree in Barcelona, the first 10 years of his career, Javier was more focused on learning how to became a Chef by perfecting culinary techniques and holding positions with renowned Chefs from Michelin stars Restaurants, such as Sea Grill in Brussels and with Gert Jan Raven from Antwerp. After that he landed back home as an Executive Chef at Fira de Barcelona. His career took him to different corners of the world and in 2008, he had his first experience with the Baltic States as Executive Chef at Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius in Cathedral Square, Lithuania. From 2018, Javier was getting his experience in South East Asia as Cluster Ex Chef at Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor & Belmond La Residence Phou Vao. Javier is no stranger to Riga, having worked for three years in the Latvian capital from 2008 to 2011 and also assisted in the pre-opening of Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga in 2017.
“Riga is a great city with a lot to offer, therefore I am delighted to have this great opportunity to be back to Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga, and together with the team deliver beautiful gastronomy experience for all our guests”, says Javier. With a natural flair for culinary arts coupled with his passionate Mediterranean spirit, Javier will be a key addition to the hotel’s continued success in Food and Beverage. Javier’s culinary philosophy consists of using natural ingredients, focusing very much on quality, organic vegetables or a so-called farm-to-table approach. He stands for sustainability and ensures environmental protection and preservation. He also supports minimum waste values, and adopts a harmonious, sensitive approach to the environment and cultural surroundings. A Spanish national, Javier speaks fluent English, Russian and French, in addition to his mother tongue.