Known in Mexico as Chef Liucu, Don Emilio Cedrún spent much of his life delighting diners with his delicious dishes, but now at 82, he has taken over his youth passion: painting.
As a chef, he was always known as Emilio; however, in the region of Santander, Spain, Emilios are called Liucus, thereby the combination led to his artistic name.
Liucu told us a little about his life and his experiences while living in Europe. “When I was young I attended the school of plastic arts in Madrid and then I left to the Basque Country to paint Landscapes. Then I went to Paris and painted at Place Du Tertre; while being there, I had the chance to paint alongside Toledo and his sister,” he says.
He recalls that he had a lifestyle that did not allow him to support himself: “selling paintings barely allowed me to eat, so I decided to become what I am today, a chef.” He worked for several years as a chef for large hotels in Paris, such as the Hotel du Louvre or at the famous restaurant La Tour D’argent.
“However, I returned to Spain,” he says. “We opened a restaurant in Madrid, but later I decided to embark on a new adventure and moved to Mexico alongside a Mexican girl I met in Paris.” He landed as a tourist; however, he not only stayed there but got married.
“In Mexico, I launched a typical Spanish patisserie, then I set up a pizzeria and then finally a Spanish Paella restaurant.”
While many complain about getting older, Don Emilio has recovered his love for painting and reinvented himself.
“We had to close the restaurant, so I started to paint what I really liked. That’s why right now I paint to entertain myself and express my ideas through painting”.
He says he is inspired by creation, light, and bright colors, so he tries to portray the landscapes of his surroundings in his work. He considers his work to be a hobby he just kicked off once again.
A few weeks ago, Don Emilio presented his work, which he considers to be “expressionist paintings in oil,” at a Hispanic event in Detroit.
“Here we are for the first time in the United States,” he tells us and assures that he will continue with his work because “I still have good eyesight and motion, so I can still paint. I don’t have elderly problems, I’m very young.”
Finally, he considers that the most important thing in life is the ability to stumble and move on: “Donkeys never trip over the same stone twice; however, human beings tumble several times. The advantage that we humans have is that the one who stumbles and does not fall moves ahead,” he concludes.