Jose: "My job is to create dishes that fusion cultures."

José Antonio Bustamante Ortuño is an accountant who managed restaurants in Venezuela. For three years now, he has created a true fusion of cultures through recipes and original meals from his business: Cheo Fast Food. 

José is convinced that sometimes life guides us on a path quite different from the one we envisioned, but these detours can lead us to our true destiny. Fifteen years ago, he achieved a seemingly impossible goal, moving to Australia where he unexpectedly ended up studying international gastronomy. This training served him in ways he had never imagined when he decided to migrate to Peru with his family. Although he anticipated challenges establishing his food business, the most difficult obstacle would be having to start over as he adjusted to a new culture. “Thanks to IOM”, he tells us, “I was able to sustain the business and move forward. They helped me and trained me to promote my entrepreneurship, because due to the pandemic, my business was paralyzed, to the point that me and my family of two children, my wife and mother-in-law, were left on the street. I have to say that, even with that incredible help and training, it took us a year to start and get to what Cheo Fast Food is today.”  

Cheo Fast Food combines Japanese gastronomy recipes with Peruvian food, using the indigenous products of the region, such as pisco or quinoa, with original sandwiches of his own creation. The business caters to what the people of the host country like, while also attracting customers of other nationalities who choose to live in that Peru. “But always taking of the typical ingredients and gastronomic resources of Peru”, he shares with us. “It’s not easy to sustain a business in a country where there are always new things to discover, but today I feel proud of my creations and of being a person who is dedicated to investigating everything that this country contributes that is healthy, original and innovative in the field of gastronomy to merge it with typical recipes from other cultures. Always with a completely healthy and artisan style of cooking, such as whole meal bread made with sourdough and highly nutritious Peruvian flours directly from origin.” 

For José, there is a clear difference in his business model before the aid and training provided by IOM, and after he completed the program.  Learning how to enhance his business organization, how to produce profits, and how to best invest in products proved invaluable lessons as he seeks to grow his venture.  “I would also like to highlight the importance of mentoring for personal and professional development. They are an essential accompaniment to recovering the strengths we had when we made the decision to change countries. I was lucky enough to be able to do both editions, and the truth is that sometimes because of work I think I don’t need it, or not realize to what extent the state of mind influences the resistance and creativity that I put into my business.”