New and Press

Celebrating Women In Hospitality

Adriana Cavita is an international chef, soon-to-be author, and owner of London-based Mexican restaurant

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re shining a spotlight on talented women who are making incredible moves in the hospitality industry.

Adriana Cavita is an international chef, soon-to-be author, and owner of London-based Mexican restaurant, Cavita. She will be debuting her Mexican-inspired cookbook towards the end of the year. Explore her interesting journey and insights on navigating the hospitality industry and achieving success below.

How it all began

“In Mexico, we have a big culture around food”, Adriana explained as we discussed the origins of her interest in cooking. Spending her early childhood around her grandmother who owned a food stall and was often cooking also helped establish her passion for food. By the time Adriana was 16 she decided that she wanted to pursue being a chef professionally and enrolled to study gastronomy. During this period, she developed the skills that would assist her as she worked in numerous restaurants across Mexico and explored the hospitality sectors in Brazil, the US & Europe, including one of the world’s top-rated restaurants, El Bulli, before opening her own Mexican restaurant, Cavita, in London. Adriana’s creative fire continues to be ignited by the markets in Mexico, which she credited for providing inspiration for new dishes at Cavita. She also draws inspiration from her family’s cooking style. “My food is very much based on tradition, and the way my family cooked has a huge impact”, she explained.

Overcoming challenges

Adriana’s passion for food and determination to master her craft is what has helped her overcome the challenges she has faced in her career. She described her introduction to the industry as tough, as she juggled busy chef life with university to fund her studies. Looking back, she recalls running on minimal sleep for around 4-5 years straight during this time, but she was happy to be learning. It was her hunger to learn that kept her going and helped her navigate other challenges such as dealing with harsh or overbearing temperaments in the kitchen at times. Being determined to learn and improve helped her cope with this. “I was trying to learn as much as I could from each person that I worked with”, she explained. “I always love to learn… that’s helped me a lot.”

Achieving success

Being able to work in so many different countries and grow within her role in each kitchen is what came to mind as Adriana reflected on some of her greatest career accomplishments. She explained that building a life in a new country with a different language can be challenging. Yet she believes it can also be rewarding and is proud of the progress she was able to make each time she entered a new environment. She recalls how she started out working at the vegetable section of Aska restaurant in New York, for example, and then progressed to the main section and was soon experienced enough to work in any section of Aska’s kitchen. During this time the restaurant received a Michelin Star – another high point of Adriana’s career! In addition to evolving in the industry and opening her own restaurant, Adriana is proud to be launching her own recipe book in the near future, in which she hopes to share how traditional Mexican dishes can be created in a simple way.

Industry reflections & lessons

One of the greatest lessons Adriana has learnt in her career is how important having the right team within a restaurant is. She shared that it is crucial to have a good team with people who care, are reliable and are in love with a restaurant’s concept. Within her own team she tries to promote a friendly and honest environment where communication plays a big part of her management philosophy.

“Find the places where you really want to work, learn and to grow”, is the advice that Adriana would give to her younger self or budding hospitality professionals. She believes it is valuable to learn from both inside and outside of the kitchen and encourages people to travel to different places and to eat in different countries. “I think that’s very important for a chef”, she revealed. Adriana also thinks it’s important to have a healthy work-life balance and is an advocate for working hard but also taking time to enjoy life.

Follow more of Adriana’s journey on Instagram: @cavitaadriana

Paperchase is a leading hospitality accountancy, working exclusively with restaurants, bars, pubs & hotels to enhance their performance & development. Their range of accounting, analytical and consulting services help hundreds of hospitality professionals make more informed and profitable decisions every day. To find out more about how Paperchase can support your business please get in contact here.