After graduating from Les Roches Marbella in 2013, Maria Alvarez set out to pursue her two passions in life: food and travel. While studying hospitality management, Maria discovered the world of gastronomy and culinary arts. Although, having grown up in the hospitality industry and studying abroad as an exchange student in the US, Maria’s love of serving people and her love of food made choosing a career in hospitality management at Les Roches the obvious choice for her professional goals.
“The working hours are long, and you always need to keep your hospitality smile.”
As a self-described adventurist who always seeks out new challenges, Maria put her two passions to good use and joined the crew on a luxury superyacht where she traveled the world as a private chef for over five years. Of her experience, Maria says “the discipline and standards that are demanded of all operations on a pleasure vessel are extremely high, the working hours are long, and you always need to keep your hospitality smile. I would have never been able to work in the luxury yachting industry without the experience and knowledge that Les Roches gave me”.
Later, after five years of ‘holding’ course and growing her sea legs, Maria decided it was time to ‘lay to’ so she set sail for the place where it all began in 2010 – Marbella, Spain. Nonetheless, despite the complicated situation brought on by the global Covid19 pandemic, she had a dream to run her own landlubber restaurant. Thus, Marbella’s renowned gastronomical offering was the perfect venue to establish herself as a restaurateur.
Maria Alvarez on her career in hospitality management
La Tienda de Comidas: From farm to fork
In August of 2020, Maria opened La Tienda in Marbella’s picturesque La Virginia neighborhood. In reference to her restaurant’s prospects for success, she says it has much to do with “location, location, location”. Upon walking through the Andalusian-styled cobblestone streets of La Virginia and arriving at La Tienda, one quickly realizes this is the perfect location with its quaint decor, soft lighting, and relaxed elegance. However, location is only one of the amazing features of La Tienda. Of mention is their exquisite menu of Mediterranean-Spanish fusion cuisine, prepared using farm-fresh and locally grown produce straight from Maria’s family farm in Seville.
Opening a restaurant in the current climate of uncertainty takes a great deal of determination and planning. Maria possesses both and she looks forward to using the upcoming winter season to establish La Tienda to succeed in 2021. With her love of hospitality as her anchor, and her desire to create memorable experiences for her guests as her headwind, Maria is well prepared to navigate the challenges that lay ahead.