Head of Procurement, Chilango
Established in 2008, Chilango is undoubtedly making waves within the casual dining sector, not to mention being dubbed the number one Mexican restaurant by Zagat 2011 London. With high quality and people at the heart of its business, the Chilango brand is rapidly becoming a household name, making the cuisine accessible to all and putting Mexican food well and truly on the map.
As Head of Procurement for Chilango, Luis Castro knows what his customers want and is prepared to offer them nothing less, “They are young, fun, adventurous, and within these domains they are looking for something new, something with quality, and generally something that is inexpensive.” However with food costs on the rise, Luis is only too familiar with the difficulties of sourcing high quality products at reasonable prices, “Like other operators we’ve felt the pressures of inflation with food costs, but we are extremely demanding about the products we use as we only want the best for our customers.”
After being recommended Tilda Easy Cook Basmati Rice by a colleague following unsuccessful trials with several other rice brands, Chilango has now been using the product for over 2½ years and Luis could not be more confident in its results, commenting, “We have found that the yield of Tilda Easy Cook Basmati is so much higher than other brands we’ve tried, which in turn means the serving price is much lower which is fantastic for us. Also, when you’re a multiple you can have five different restaurants with five different people and maybe four different types of cooking equipment, meaning it’s difficult to get the right consistency – with Tilda Easy Cook Basmati you don’t have to worry as the rice is incredibly consistent which is down to the quality of the grain.”
Chosen by 90% of customers in the 15,000 dishes Chilango serves every week, Luis explained how Tilda Easy Cook Basmati is served simply with fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime to perfectly balance the spicy elements of the dishes. He concluded, “We had a customer comment a while back that said specifically ‘the Basmati rice at Chilango is truly inspirational’. What more could we ask for!”
LUIS’S TOP TIPS…
Always pick food suppliers you can trust – in the 2½ years that we’ve worked with Tilda we’ve had no problems, and I can’t say that for any other supplier.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with rice – try preparing it in different ways and mixing it with new flavours. With Tilda this is easy as the rice is so forgiving.
Go for quality and consistency, not just initial cost – we have found that because the grains are such great quality the yield of Tilda rice is so much higher than other brands, which means that the serving price is much lower.