They say, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” We believe a similar relationship exists between food and culture. Every signature dish at Carmen embodies a Spanish value.
The team at Carmen are globetrotters and passionate foodies who live and work in the community that we love. A tight-knit team, we are proud of our positive work environment, where culinary mentorship is emphasized and exchanged amongst peers.
Luis Valenzuela Robles Linares
Chef & Owner
“Close your eyes and imagine what you want to do for the rest of your life,” a wise man once asked 14-year-old Luis. That conversation set him on his journey towards a profession in the culinary arts.
For Luis, cooking is a medium through which he makes the invisible, visible, like transforming raw materials into a mouth-watering dish. He admires Spanish food, for he thinks it symbolizes conviviality. He feels alive, centered, and present while cooking. Maybe that’s why he says, “I’ve never thought about cooking as my job.” He then adds, “It is my calling.”
Luis cooks some of the most exciting dishes in Toronto’s food scene. According to him, “respect” is his secret sauce… Respect the dignity of the ingredients. Respect the authenticity of traditional recipes. And respect the harmony of his team.
A proud partner of Transparent Kitchen, Chef Luis invites his guests to extend their dining experience by learning more about the products he uses in his kitchen.
Front of House Manager & Owner
“I’m a romantic!” says Veronica. Indeed for her, matters of the heart precede everything. She loves food, particularly those that are prepared with passion and good ingredients. She loves warm, energetic and friendly people. She loves smiling, being happy and making people happy. And that’s why she opened Carmen.
Born in Chile to Spanish parents, Veronica was raised with traditional Spanish values. Art, the Flamenco culture and Spanish food have always been dear to her. Curious, passionate and sociable by nature, Veronica connected the dots and became a successful restaurateur.
“To mean what you do” is the key to Veronica. Her entire team is chosen accordingly. From the restaurant’s bold menu to the way guests are greeted, one could find the imprints of her trademarked passion in every detail of Carmen.