Let's start with where probably many conversations with your fans have already led. Who is Hombre Pablo and where did he come from?
In the beginning of June in 2019, there was an opportunity to rent a food truck through an acquaintance-an-acquaintance-acquaintance. That food truck had the "Pablo" logo on it. However, the name "Hombre" (because I am a man and I think hombre is an unspeakably cool word) had been swirling around in my head - by that moment, you could even say for years. In order to save resources, I did not start wrapping the bus, but sprayed the name "Hombre Pablo" on the inside of the car (under the hatch). At the same time, when the hatch was closed, the truck was still called "Pablo".
Now fast forward to April 2021 where I built myself a personal food truck. I was faced with the dilemma of whether to continue as "Hombre Pablo" or simply become "Hombre" as per the original idea. I decided that Hombre on its own might be too foreign, and Pablo adds a nice "ring" to the name that is well remembered.
Behind every venture with heart are people. How do you define yourself? How are your ideas born?
I like to define myself and my food with the term - preferably rustic. It's not important to me that the product is polished, but above all that it is made with heart and has its own niche. For the most part, abstractness rather than frenetic regularity catches the eye. I'm a big fan of alternative hip-hop music. The best ideas are mostly born at night when I'm lying on the sofa and listening to music.
There is definitely a longer story behind it, how you came to share your food creations at Botik's garden kitchen. Talk about it.
As I mentioned before, in 2019 I rented a food truck and made the first steps in the culinary world. In 2021, I was much more experienced and built myself a food truck. The year 2020 was missed, when together with a good friend we swept our homeland from the shoes and traveled downunder to Australia.
There I ended up in an Italian fine-dining restaurant, where to my surprise I was made to take plates to the table on the first day - this was not the job I applied for. In the evening, we sat down with the owner, who was the chef at that restaurant, and I told him my story. The job wasn't quite what I was looking for and my friends and I went separate ways.
A few days later, I received a surprise call from the same chef, who invites me to the restaurant again. I agreed without hesitation, not knowing what awaited me. It turned out that I had been hired as a wood oven cook and I had to take on a completely unknown role. Instead of the original two-week trial period, I was offered a job as a wood-fired oven cook by the end of my first day of work, with the possibility of sponsorship that could have made me an Australian citizen. I accepted the job offer (without sponsorship) and a huge struggle began, for which I am extremely grateful.
In particular, Botik came unexpectedly when I received a call from you while lying in bed. Without further ado, we met on the same day, and the rest is history.
What will be the summer menu? How does creating a menu option work? It seems that you have gathered a lot of inspiration from outside Estonia?
I have gathered the most inspiration from America, where, as you know, almost all different cultures from around the world are intertwined. While visiting California years ago, the idea of doing something Mexican came to mind.
The summer menu in the Botiku garden will be lively. When creating the menu selection, I listen to my heart and offer the combinations that speak to me the most. Beauty lies in simplicity!
When is the best time to come and taste what you have to offer?
The best time is now! And if it doesn't fit right away, from Thursday to Sunday between the pillars of the Botik garden tower.
Can you set the table for an event organized in Botik with you? What makes your so-called "catering" special?
Catering is also available - I entwined Mexican flavors with slightly more traditional party snacks.
Where can I read and see more about you?
NB! Botik and the garden kitchen are open from Thursday to Sunday. The delicacies of the garden kitchen can be tasted for the first time already on May 12th, when Botiku's small spring festival takes place.