FF Thinker: Martin Morales, CEO and Founder of Ceviche Family

Richard Wallace

This month’s Fearlessly Frank Thinker is Martin Morales, the award-winning Peruvian restaurateur, chef, author, entrepreneur and arts producer. He runs Ceviche Family which includes Ceviche and Andina’s collection of six boutique award-winning restaurants as well as a bakery, record label, and art gallery. He also hosts the YouTube channel Martin’s Peruvian Kitchen, and in the past has worked with Steve Jobs as Head of iTunes Pan EU. As Disney’s main music exec in Europe he helped launch some of the most successful music artists in the world.

Give us one fearlessly frank opinion on the future of food and music.

As the world becomes more judged and led by digital media, people will be increasingly looking for authenticity, tradition and balance. They will look for what’s truly real, has substance and has been shaped over time and not recent hype. Dishes and music with meaning, shaped by a people or a culture – instead of a one-off pop star chef or music artist – will have growing appeal, relevance and impact.

We are scratching the surface in terms of what we know about certain ingredients, instruments, foods and sounds, so a new wave of cultural traditionalist curators and re-creators will emerge to the delight of digitally-burnt-out people.

Is the past a good predictor of the future in your thinking?

No. Not a predictor, but it does propose the future and shapes it too. We need to suffer and be intensely impacted and affected by an era and its challenges to enable new thinking to take place. Without pain, there is no advancement, nor reflection.

How do you think differently to achieve success?

I think laterally, I think in opposites and I so therefore think very broadly. By using those tools, I have the pick of obvious and conservative ideas, fresh new ones and some that may surprise and delight.

I have the scope to look at an incredibly wide variety of solutions and ideas, and then filter them using a set of criteria based on the needed end result. That way I achieve focus and also contingency; real ambitious targets but also some peace of mind.

I also travel to other countries and cultures; I read other industries’ publications and fanzines. I keep my ear to the ground, literally. I watch and watch and watch peoples’ behaviour and likes and dislikes. And I listen to others.

You can always get a feel for the right path forward if you’ve discussed it with a large group of people individually and a majority of those agree on a particular focus. The rest of the group will also help you sculpt the idea, as everyone’s opinion is valid. Everyone is a potential user/customer/fan so why not consider their views?

Listening, watching, sensing, feeling and communicating all come before thinking. When I’m ready, then I make time to daydream and to think. That’s when the best solutions and ideas happen as these are led by gut, knowledge and selflessness.

Thanks very much to Martin for speaking to us!