I’m Miles Lewis. I didn’t come to Buenos Aires with plans to enter the hospitality industry. I’m not sure I even planned to stay permanently. What I told myself was that with the “adventure” end of the venture capital industry likely to remain a risk too far for the next couple of years, it was time to take a long break, buy a bunch of horses to train and see if my polo might actually improve if I played every day (not much). I was also looking forward to the opportunity to do some of the things that had slipped me by in the last decade, like writing a novel and picking up the guitar again.
I already knew Baires pretty well, having spent a month or two a year here for the previous 15 years. I was no doubt it was the perfect place for a holiday, an economical place for me to perfect my bad Spanish and an easy place to make new and varied friends. I also knew it was a hard place to find work and prior reviews of ex-pat websites signalled all kinds of problems and inconveniences that would be encountered during a longer stay. What I didn’t know is that after two years here I would be so much happier with my lifestyle and so enamoured with the city, that the thought of going “home” was beyond contemplation. So now, I had to work out how to make a living.
I set off down a conventional route, joining a small investment banking house while trying to get some underwriters lined up for an insurance project but the political environment was getting more protectionist and investors were scared to commit. And to be honest my heart wasn’t really in it. Somewhere in the back of my mind was the image of this great property that a girlfriend had introduced me to, plus the desire to follow my enduring passions, eating and cooking. A year latter I was reconciled to a change of life. I bought the 5th Floor and signed up for Chef School.