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 him to kitchens all over the world.
After Florida the adventure continued to Spain at the city of Valencia in 1 Michelin Star restaurant “La Sucursal” where he was introduced to fine dining techniques while he was able to start to understand mediterranean flavours and culture.
Later on, after one year he moved to Barcelona to start working in the kitchen of 3 Michelin Star Can Fabes of prominent avant-garde Spanish Catalan chef Santi Santamaria. This experience 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 at Atlantis Hotel at The Palm Jumeriah and “Santi” in Singapore Marina Bay Sands Hotel 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 , Virgilio Martinez , Mitsuharu Tsumura and Rafael Piqueras; GGGOLAs 1, 2 & 3 with Chef Gaggan Anand from Bangkok and Chef Paco Morales from 1 Michelin Star Noor in Andalusia.
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.
TONO Cevicheria has received numerous acclaims from journalists and a very discerning clientele with constant visits from local and international chefs.
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.
In March 2019 Daniel will open TONITO at the Jewel Changi Airport complex where a Latin American concept is being created.