Daniel Chavez is the chef and owner of OLA Cocina del Mar, an unpretentious Spanish eatery in Marina Bay Financial Centre. Daniel’s food is joyful, simple and tasty, with a focus on fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients.
As a teenager, Daniel’s family moved from their homeland of Peru to Florida, where he discovered a passion and talent for cooking. This started him on a journey of learning and exploration, taking himto kitchens all over the world.
In Spain, working in the Can Fabes kitchen of prominent avant-garde Spanish Catalan chef Santi Santamaria, opened his eyes to importance of seasonal produce. It was also the place where his creativity started to flourish. Daniel would go on to open Ossiano in Dubai and Santi in Singapore for Chef Santamaria.
Time spent in the kitchens of Les Amis, under Chef Gunter Hubrechesen, introduced French cooking techniques to Daniel. It was also pivotal to helping him better understand the food loving culture of Singapore.
These lessons are reflected in his cooking style today. Dishes are tasty, light and refreshing to the palate, with ingredients that complement and highlight the natural flavours of the produce. Some plates are reflective of his training in Spanish cuisine, others an homage to Peru.
Daniel has teamed up with some renowned foreign chefs for very special culinary collaborations at OLA. Highlights include the Tiger’s Milk Gang event featuring Peruvian chefs Gaston Acurio (No.7, Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants; No.30, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants), Virgilio Martinez (No.1 Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants; No.4, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants), Mitsuharu Tsumura (No.2, Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants; No.13, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants) and Rafael Piqueras from Maras; GGGOLAs 1, 2 & 3 with Gaggan Anand (No.1, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants; No.23, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants) and Al-Andaluz X Catalan/ the OLA Pintxos Bar with Paco Morales.
In May 2017, Daniel founded TONO Cevicheria, the first authentic Peruvian cevicheria in Singapore.
Paying homage to his Peruvian roots, TONO, the Peruvian slang word for “party”, is a celebration of one of the world’s most eclectic cultures and seeks to bring the liveliness, spice and flavour of Peru to Singapore.
Through both restaurants, Daniel’s aim is to serve the best traditional cuisine in the most relaxed atmosphere – you can truly feel at home at OLA Cocina Del Mar and TONO Cevicheria.