A Look At “The Sexy Chef” Willy Trullas’ Sexy Culinary Escapades All Around The World
He is Chef Guillermo Trullas, now more popularly known as The Sexy Chef, Chef Willy. With roots from Barcelona, Chef Willy has honed his culinary skills around the world before opening his very first restaurant in Shanghai. Now, he has also set up shop in the Philippines to bring his unique flavors, technique, and personality to the local culinary scene.
Here is a glimpse at the sexy chef’s sexy culinary escapades around the world.
El Willy in The Bund, Shanghai (Photo from elwillygroup.com)
“I’ve been in the kitchen all of my life, since I was a kid, but in Shanghai is where I had the opportunity to open my own restaurant,” Chef Willy writes on Smart Shanghai. This is where the happy Spanish chef started to build a loyal following and a great name, shortly landing on The Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy list.
Located at The Bund in Shanghai, El Willy is essentially a happier and sexier take on Spanish cuisine. Chef Willy continues, “It’s a Spanish restaurant, you know. We do contemporary and traditional Spanish cooking—but with our fun and sexy style!”
El Willy’s menu is overflowing with delicious and modern tapas, given a Shanghai take. The menu follows the Chinese structure of a meal and can be shared and comfortable enjoyed with chopsticks.
El Ocho in Shanghai (Photo from elwillygroup.com)
After the success of El Willy, Chef Willy and his team opened their next concept in Shanghai, this time a cocktail bar featuring some of their signature tapas and drinks. El Ocho is a modern cocktail bar that offers a number of eclectic but inspired mix of craft drinks, with spirits you won’t see anywhere else in town. This is why the bar attracts locals and tourists alike.
Also located in the Jing'an area in Shanghai, el Ocho boasts of the fun spirit and food that’s at the core of the El Willy brand.
Fofo by El Willy
el Ocho in Hong Kong (Photo from elwillgroup.com)
True to the nature of Chef Willy is his second restaurant, this time in nearby Hong Kong, which brings happiness in every bite. Fofo by El Willy is a collaboration between Chef Willy and Chef Alex Fargas, which makes the restaurant’s menu a marriage of flavors and techniques from Barcelona and Hong Kong.
Although the presentation and the concept behind Fofo by El Willy’s offerings are a bit more refined, every menu item is still a homage to the kind of happy and indulgent food that Chef Willy is known for.
In an interview with Shanghai-Today, Chef Willy says, “My philosophy is to do a happy Spanish restaurant which shares happiness with our guests, with our staff, with our suppliers, and try to create a happy environment. And for that, we need to create some happy, happy food.”
Tomatito in BGC, Manila (Photo from Tomatito Manila on Facebook)
Chef Willy’s newest but perhaps biggest franchise to date is Tomatito, a sexy tapas bar with a casual interpretation of the prêt-à-porter concept. There’s one in Shanghai, one in Vietnam, and one in Fort Bonifacio in Manila—and they’re all drawing a younger crowd and vibe for its relaxing and funky concept and eats.
One of the specialties of Chef Willy’s Tomatito is their paella, a classic Spanish dish that’s been reinterpreted by many cultures and restaurants. But what makes a classic, traditional Spanish paella? Chef Willy explains on The Crawl Spain that there are two things to look for in a classic Spanish paella: a beautiful socarrat and al dente rice.
“The best of the best is the socarrat, which is on the side of the paella. It is a little more dark. This is just heaven on earth,” Chef Willy says about the socarrat, the caramelized crust of rice that sometimes sticks to the bottom of the pan. The socarrat is achieved by keeping the paella layer very thin.
And unlike in most Asian countries where we like our rice cooked all the way through, classic Spanish paella prides itself with al dente rice, which is firm to the bite.
Experience and learn more about Spanish cuisine with Chef Willy, restaurateur Dani Aliaga, and foodie and entrepreneur Nico Bolzico on The Crawl Spain, premiering on September 1, Saturday, 8 p.m. on Metro Channel, channel 52 on Sky Cable and channel 174 on HD. If you miss it, you can also watch the episode on Metro.style's Youtube page.