From left to right: 2 starred Chef Nacho Manzano, 5 starred Chef Paco Pérez, Pastry chef Lola Vélez, 2 starred Chef Paco Roncero, 2 starred chef Mari Carmen Vélez, 3 starred Chef Quique Dacosta, 7 starred chef Carme Ruscalleda and 2 starred chef Ramón Freixa.
Chef Nacho Manzano, Restaurante Casa Marcial, in Parres – Arriondas (Principality of Asturias)
Pastry chef Lola Vélez & chef Mari Carmen Vélez, Restaurante La Sirena, in Petrer (Alicante)
Chef Paco Roncero, Restaurante La Terraza del Casino, in Madrid
Chef Ramón Freixa, Restaurante Ramón Freixa Madrid, in Madrid
Chef Paco Pérez, Chef Quique Dacosta and Chef Carme Ruscalleda, please see below.
I am proud to say that Modern Spanish cuisine is an artistic creation to delight the senses and the hottest thing at the world’s dinner tables these days. Some of the most famous chefs in the world hail from Spain, award-winning Chef José Andrés, often credited for bringing the small plates dining concept to America, owns restaurants in several cities in USA and was named as one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in 2012.
In the fall of 2010, chefs Ferran Adrià and José Andrés taught a culinary physics course “Science and Cooking” at Harvard University.
Barcelona’s Palau Robert exhibition unveiling the creative universe of Ferran Adrià run from February 2012 till February 2013. Then moved to London. Ferran Adrià and elBulli: 1961-2011 Risk, Freedom and Creativity.
Over the years, Ferran Adrià has become a global icon of gastronomy.
Ferran Adrià, a Catalan revolutionary chef, was head chef of the 3 Michelin stars elBulli restaurant and Number One for a record five-time in the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list. Chef Adrià engaged the diner’s five senses, hoping to evoke irony, humor, and even childhood memories with his creations. He said he “turned eating into an experience that supersedes eating”. ElBulli defined avant-garde cuisine during its 25-year life span. ElBulli restaurant is now converted into elBollifoundation to safeguard the legacy of elBulli and to create BulliPedia, an online database which will hold every bit of gastronomic knowledge ever uncovered, the aim is that culinary students and chefs worldwide gain access to relevant, well-organized and inspiring culinary knowledge. Adrià’s legendary talent and gastronomic innovations like deconstruction, food-foaming and spherification led to a culinary revolution known for its molecular gastronomy.
He has written various cookbooks, one specially for the home cooking with the adapted meals ElBulli staff ate every day. Absolutely fantastic!
The spirit of elBullirestaurant –creativity, talent, imagination, innovation, leadership, teamwork, risk, internationalization– is still alive thanks to the several stagers who spent time at elBulli and have since become globally renowned cooks. Two of them became #1 best chef in the world: Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca, in 2013) and René Redzepi (Noma, in 2010-11-12) And other fortunate students who are now among the best chefs in the world: Andoni Luis Aduriz (Mugaritz), Grant Achatz (Alinea), Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana) José Andrés (Think Food Group) and Paco Pérez (Miramar, Enoteca, CincobyPacoPérez).
Chef Susi Díaz, 1 Michelin star (from 2006 to 2013 in a row) owner and chef of La Finca Restaurant in Elche (Valencian Community) & Irene Morcillo (tita Irene)
Chef Ramón Freixa, 2 Michelin stars chef at Ramón Freixa Madrid within Hotel Único Madrid & Irene Morcillo (tita Irene)
Dishes by Catalan and Basque chefs such as Adrià, Arzak, Berasategui, Aduriz, Ruscalleda, Subijana and Roca have placed Spain at the forefront of international haute cuisine.
Did you know that the city with more Michelin stars per square meter in the world (a total of 14) is San Sebastián, known as Donostia in the Basque tongue, located on northern Spain’s Bay of Biscay coast, just 20 kilometers from France?
San Sebastián, has in fact, three out of the eight Spain’s Michelin three stars restaurants: Arzak, Akelarre and Berasategui, I will talk about their chefs below.
SPANISH CHEFS IN THE WORLD’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS LIST
At present we are living the countdown for the 2014 World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards organized by Restaurant Magazine that will be announced on April 28th from 8:15pm UK Time.
Here I will introduce you to the 7 best Spanish restaurants in 2013 according to Restaurant Magazine.
#1 El Celler de Can Roca, in Girona (Catalonia).
In 2013 Spain regained the throne with the Roca Brothers from El Celler de Can Roca Restaurant that has put again (last time was in 2009 with elBulli) Catalan cuisine at the top of the world’s best restaurant list. The three brothers who run this ultra-modern Michelin 3-star restaurant in the town of Girona are jokers as well as clever cooks. They start dinners off with caramelized olives, which come to the table on bonsai trees; from there diners get classic Catalan ingredients that made the region famous in the days when Ferran Adrià of elBulli was king.
I had the pleasure of meeting enchanting Head Chef Joan Roca at the 2014 Alimentaria Food & Drinks Fair in Barcelona.
Head Chef Joan Roca from El Celler Can Roca, #1 best restaurant in the world (2013) & Irene Morcillo (tita Irene)
Chef Joan Roca at his Masterclass in Alimentaria Barcelona last 1st of April,2014
The Roca brothers’ passion for cooking was nurtured in the Restaurant Can Roca, the establishment their parents still manage, their mother, Montserrat Fontané passed onto them a key learning: cooking with respect, affection and generosity. The oldest brother, head chef Joan helped pioneer the widespread use of sous-vide cooking in the ’90s via his Roner machine, in short, he helped widespread a cooking method consisting in sealing food in airtight plastic bags submerging them in a low temperature water bath for a long time.
On the other hand, one of the cookbooks in my shelves that I treasure most is his book titled “La cuina de la meva mare” which translates as “My mum’s kitchen” a homage to his mother and his grandmother with the recipes elaborated at their parents establishment, it is also a tribute to traditional Catalan cooking which is the foundation to his cuisine at El Celler de Can Roca.
The book that makes my cookbook collection almost reach the 300 cookbooks is chef Joan Roca’s book titled “Cocina con Joan Roca – Técnicas Básicas para cocinar en Casa” which would translate as “Cook with Joan Roca – Basic techniques to cook at home”. The concept of the book is a cookery course, address to the homecooking, which collects, organizes and synthesizes his 25 years cooking and 20 years teaching at the Cooking school: Escola d’Hosteleria de Girona. It has a section on healthy eating and another help us in organizing a kitchen, is beautifully illustrated and also includes 80 recipes with step-by-step photos.
From left to right: Michelin stars Chefs Javier Torres, Joan Roca, Dani García and Sergio Torres, after a blind taste in support of the National Organization of Spanish blind people
From left to right: Michelin stars Twin brothers Chefs Javier and Sergio Torres, Dani García, gastronomic journalist Cristina Jolonch and chef Joan Roca with ONCE directors after a blind taste in support of the National Organization of Spanish blind people
Josep Roca, the middle brother, is the sommelier, and the youngest brother, Jordi Roca, is in charge of desserts, a great collection of them are in his book “Los postres de Jordi Roca” which translates as “Jordi Roca’s desserts”, I myself have elaborated some of the recipes and they were a hit, this book occupies a beloved place in my cookbook collection.
In 2013, Spain took two other spots in the top 10, Mugaritz (4th) and Arzak (8th) completing the hat trick, but for the last 5 years these same names have been consistently appearing at the crest and the situation in 2009 was: elBulli (1st), Mugaritz (4th), El Celler de Can Roca Restaurant (5th) and Arzak (8th), a guarantee that Catalan and Basque cuisines hold privileged places in the world’s gastronomic preferences.
#4th Mugaritz, in San Sebastián (Basque Country).
A 2 Michelin star restaurant by chef Andoni Luis Aduriz who states that Mugaritz has become synonymous with R+D and the word “restaurant” has ceased to exist. Mugaritz closes for four months a year, a window which is devoted almost exclusively to creativity. Aduriz has managed to achieve a balance between avant-garde and traditional Basque cuisine. He has given classes at prestigious culinary institutions and is author of several culinary books.
#8th Arzak, in San Sebastián (Basque Country).
Chef Elena Arzak, Irene Morcillo (tita Irene) and chef Juan Mari Arzak
Arzak, a 3 Michelin star restaurant by father and daughter chefs Juan Mari and Elena Arzak offer signature cuisine rooted in traditional Basque Cuisine in constant evolution leading to original creative avant-garde cuisine. Evolution has kept this fourth-generation restaurant founded in the 19th century, at the forefront of the world’s culinary achievements.
From left to right: Chef Juan Mari Arzak with his creative team: chefs Elena Arzak, Xabier Gutiérrez and Igor Zalakain, at the Masterclass conducted by gastronomic journalist Cristina Jolonch
On the top floor of Arzak’s restaurant they have their own gastronomic lab where the creative imagination of chefs Xabier Gutiérrez, Elena Arzak and Igor Zalakain makes a clear contribution to the prestige of this three-Michelin-star restaurant.
Elena Arzak was awarded the best female chef of the world in the 2012’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony.
Chef Xabier Gutiérrez & Irene Morcillo
Chef Xabier Gutiérrez’s cookbooks I have in my cookbook collection
Chef Xabier Gutiérrez is an enthusiastic highly creative chef author of 16 cookbooks from which at the moment I am proudly owner of 2 of them: “Recetas sencillas para novatos y cocinillas del laboratorio de Arzak” which I could translate as “simple recipes from Arzak’s lab for the novel and the experienced cooks” and “Renueva tus recetas de siempre” which translates as “Update your classic recipes”. I had a friendly nice chat with Xabier while learning about his interesting culinary work.
At Arzak’s Culinary Master class
Chef Juan Mari Arzak showing me the salt recipient created at his gastronomic lab
At the 2014 Alimentaria Food & Drinks Fair in Barcelona I was fortunate to attend Arzak’s Culinary Master class where not only I could learn from Juan Mari and Elena but also from their creative team that was there, Igor Zalakain and Xabier Gutiérrez, all beautifully conducted by the experienced gastronomic journalist Cristina Jolonch book author of “Guía Secreta, dónde comen los mejores cocineros” which translates as “A secret guide, where the best cooks eat”.
At Arzak’s Masterclass we sample a creative dish: Manzana sanguina
Arzak’s pic at La Vanguardia newspaper captured me in the background
So much interesting information was generously shared I could hardly stop writing… Juan Mari expressed a couple of ideas to which I subscribe: “To cultivate creativity you have to think like a child” and then he explained how he always asks questions, he stated that is the way to learn and advance. And when they don’t find answers they create them… just like Ferran and Albert Adrià, Arzak and his team create their own tableware because their special dishes require special plates and recipients on which to serve delicate art food.
#26th Quique Dacosta, in Dénia (Valencian Community).
Chef Quique Dacosta and Irene Morcillo (tita Irene)
Chef Quique Dacosta is part avant-garde chef, part ecological researcher. His eponymous restaurant in Dénia is a hub for food research and boldly top-end dining. In his 3 Michelin star restaurant, Quique Dacosta he cooks the Mediterranean in its essence. Quique once said: “our job is to give pleasure” and he indeed strives to accomplish it in every dish of his.
Valencian Community is the rice cooking kingdom in Spain, world famous Paella was born here! And Chef Quique Dacosta has written a book like no other about rice, it has a more modern, complete, technical and rigorous approach than any other, is titled: “Arroces Contemporáneos – Nuevos conceptos creativos, filosofía culinaria, desarrollos” which can be translated as “Contemporary Rice Dishes – New creative concepts, culinary philosophy, developments”, a book that I am glad to have added to my cookbook collection.
I follow chef Quique Dacosta’s work mainly through Instagram. I was not aware he was coming to Barcelona, but then, I noticed his Miró’s pic on Instagram stating he was in Barcelona and immediately I thought, I hope I can meet him in this gastronomic event, can you imagine how happy I was when I did meet him? He is a nice, kind, extraordinary chef.
#44 Asador Etxebarri, in Atxondo (Basque Country).
Asador Etxebarri by chef Victor Arguinzoniz, the food style is Rustic Spanish cooked over a wood-fired grill with fresh local produce from the region surrounding the restaurant.
#64 Martin Berasategui, in Lasarte-Oria (Basque Country).
Martin Berasategui was placed in the 29th post in both 2008 and 2011. A 3-Michelin star restaurant where Martin started his creative and inventive cooking through a profound understanding of flavour and a deep respect for ingredient. I had the honor of meeting great chef Martin Berasategui while attending a culinary masterclass of another 7 Michelin stars chef, the Catalan Carme Ruscalleda.
From left to right: Chef Martin Berasategui, Irene Morcillo (tita irene) and Chef Carme Ruscalleda
Chef Martin Berasategui holds 7 Michelin stars shared out among his establishments, 3 for his eponymous restaurant in Lasarte-Oria, 2 for the M.B. restaurant located within the Abama Golf & Spa Resort Hotel in Guía de Isora (Tenerife) and 2 for the Restaurante Lasarte at the hotel Condes de Barcelona in Barcelona, just in front of it, Loidi, a contemporary bistro, with Chef Martin Berasategui’s signature making his exquisite cuisine accessible to everybody.
Irene Morcillo (tita Irene) & internationally renowned Spanish politician Mr. Javier Solana
Loidi is one of my favorite places in Barcelona where some time ago while having lunch there I bumped into the renowned Spanish politician Mr. Javier Solana, former European Union’s High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union and Secretary-General of the Western European Union, meeting him just made my day, as I share his political views and admire his integrity, I could not refrain from introducing myself to him and that on the left is the image of a nice chat and lovely memory.
#77 Tickets Bar Tapas in Barcelona (Catalonia).
Chef Albert Adrià & Irene Morcillo (tita Irene) at Tickets Tapas Bar, April 2012
Tickets Bar Tapas by chef Albert Adrià, who worked alongside his older brother, Ferran, at elBulli for 23 years. He is currently continuing with the concept developed at elBulli, channeling their haute cuisine skills, experience and their carefully sourced raw materials into the traditional world of tapas.
You can sample both savory and sweet tapas at his Tickets Bar Tapas recently awarded with a Michelin star as it was awarded as well his 41º, a cocktail lounge and experimental snack bar. Albert Adrià’s goal is to convert Barcelona into a gastronomic Mecca, he is already running 4 establishments and opening 2 more in the next few months through grupo BCN 5.0.
A UNIQUE FEMALE CHEF: CARME RUSCALLEDA
Chef Carme Ruscalleda & Irene Morcillo (tita Irene)
Catalan Chef Carme Ruscalleda has achieved global recognition and the only one with the most Michelin stars in the world, surpassing her French female counterpart, the six-starred Anne Sophie Pic. Ruscalleda now holds in total seven Michelin stars: three for her first restaurant, Sant Pau in her hometown Sant Pol de Mar (Barcelona), two for the Restaurant Moments at the Hotel Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona and two for the Tokyo-based restaurant Sant Pau.
Ruscalleda bases her cooking on Catalan culinary tradition though she is open to world influences. She defines her style as “home cooking, because I learnt from my parents and from my surroundings, then added my own ideas and the teachings of the great European chefs”.
Many years ago I lived in the Maresme area where the Sant Pau restaurant is located and as the train passed just by her restaurant’s garden I used to look over the restaurant and think how proud I was of such a great chef. I had the chance to meet this exceptionally good chef at her Masterclass at the 2014 Alimentaria Food & Drinks Fair in Barcelona.
At chef Carme Ruscalleda’s Master Class, tasting the green caviar
She insisted on the importance of selecting fresh seasonal local high-quality produce as she was explaining us the wonders of an exquisite variety of pea: the pearl pea (guisante perla or guisante lágrima) a variety that is cultivated in the Basque Country and in the Maresme area, this delicious pea needs artisanal treatment, can only be collected manually and has a small-scale cultivation, hence no wonder she turns it into green caviar with her exquisite skills.
Another idea that caught my attention was when she stated that we should consume only local products when in season because we still are carrying our grandparents’ genetic memory and they could only eat what was locally in-season available. Chef Carme Ruscalleda was accompanied by gastronomic journalist and book author Pau Arenós (books: “La cocina de los Valientes” and “Hecho en casa”)
Carme Ruscalleda is the book author of numerous cookbooks with the Mediterranean diet in mind. An innovative book is the one that Ruscalleda with her son Chef Raül Balam and the collaboration of Dr. Manuel Sánchez from the Antiaging Unit of Clínica Planas have published under the title: “Recetas Antiaging. Gastronomía y Ciencia” which translates as “Antiaging recipes. Gastronomy & Science”. Even the appealing title I still took with me the one I like most “Cocinar para ser feliz” which translates as “Cooking to be happy” and she kindly dedicated it to me with a lot of love.
GREAT SPANISH CHEFS PUT SPANISH CUISINE ON THE RISE
Basque chef Pedro Subijana
Chef of his restaurant Akelarre holding 3 Michelin Stars, cookbook author, TV cookingshow chef and cooking adviser. Chef Pedro Subijana alongside Juan Mari Arzak and the cooking teacher Luis Irizar were the founders of the New Basque Cuisine in the mid 70s, a gastronomic trend consisting in applying the nouvelle French techniques to traditional Basque cuisine leading to the Spanish culinary avant-garde.
I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Pedro Subijana at the 2014 Alimentaria Food & Drinks Fair in Barcelona.
Andalusian chef Dani García
Chef Dani García & Irene Morcillo (tita Irene)
2 Michelin star chef Dani García who developed his skills as an apprentice at mythical chef Martín Berasategui’s restaurant in Lasarte-Oria, offered a creative brunch showcooking in Barcelona at the 2014 Alimentaria Food & Drinks Fair, an opportunity not to be missed for a brunch lover like myself.
Chef Dani García offers me his savoury Carrot Cupcake with edible paper
I was the luckily chosen to eat in one bite as Dani told me to, the unique savory carrot cupcake he prepared with oblaat, a Japanese edible paper. It was a melt in your mouth wonderful sensation, the paper was absolutely undistinguishable both in odor and texture. He explained us that the paper had a color cocoa butter bath in order to retain the humidity of the carrot-cod fish foam.
Chef Thomas Stork heping out at Chef Dani García’s showcooking
Eggs Benedictines by Chef Dani García
Another bite that was absolutely fantastic was his interpretation of eggs Benedictines, a mini tapa with brioche, a thin rasher of bacon, quail egg and glazed Béarnaise sauce infused in a fermented tuna fish fatty part.
Dani García has recently opened his 2 newest establishments within the Hotel Puente Romano Beach Resort in the internationally known jet-set city of Marbella in Málaga (Andalusia), the Dani García Restaurant with 2 Michelin stars and Bibo Andalusian Brasserie & Tapas, where he will be working with who was named Best Chef in Andalucía in 2013, Thomas Stork, the Executive Chef of Hotel Puente Romano Beach Resort.
As Chef Joan Roca did with his mother, Dani García is another chef that pays tribute to mum’s home cooking with his book titled “En la Cocina de mi madre” which translates as “At my mum’s kitchen”. He was kind enough to dedicate it to me.
Basque chef Karlos Arguiñano
My chef Karlos Arguiñano’s books: Cocina Vasca de Karlos Arguiñano & Como en Casa, recetas para triunfar cocinando.
Karlos Arguiñano is a Basque chef, Spain’s number one TV Chef, presenter and producer, businessman, actor and cookbook author of nearly 40 books. I have always loved his amusing and passionate TV showcookings and some of his books are the pillars in my cookbook collection.
I am proud to say that we follow each other through Instagram.
He has a lovely hotel & restaurant, Hotel Restaurante Karlos Arguiñano situated in a stately mansion built in the first half of the twentieth century on the beachfront in Zarautz (Basque Country), a favorite beach for surfers in the area. At his restaurant he, his team and 4 of his children use local seasonal ingredients offering a balance between tradition and innovation in Basque cuisine. Definitely a place to go in my next vacations to the north.
He runs his own cookery school called Aiala
Catalan chef Carles Abellan
Tapas24 Bar in Barcelona
The Maestro of Avant-Garde Tapas, a Michelin star Catalan Chef at Comerç24 who worked in his origins at ElBulli for 6 years, has several establishments in Barcelona, one of them, is my favorite place for tapas at the heart of Modernist Barcelona, called Tapas 24, it offers tasty original and traditional creations at an informal establishment where the waiters’ costumes are out of the ordinary.
Tapas24’s dessert: Olive oil, chocolate ganache, salt & toast.
He masterminded long ago the concept of gastrobar, the tapas bars combining tradition and innovation to create a whole new take on tapas: top cooking and attentive service in an informal setting and at everyday prices.
His newest project is Yango Urban Food, the name is a tribute to a delicious Catalan sausage called ‘llonganissa’, twisted as yangonissa, in short Yango, ’ where this sausage substitutes the hot dog concept, the idea is to prepare sandwhiches of grilled ‘llonganissa’ with the recipe of 9 countries through their sauces and toppings. With his own idea of street food in mind Abellan is opening a local in the foremost tourist landmark in Barcelona, the popular market of Mercado de La Boquería and a mobile version with the foodtruck touring places as music festivals.
Yango Urban Food, Carles Abellan’s new project
At the 2014 Alimentaria Food & Drinks Fair in Barcelona the Yango Urban Food stroke my curiosity and even before I found out about Carles Abellan’s new project I took some pics of the foodtruck, in fact, I think I saw him there, pity I did not dare to confirm my thoughts…
I am happy to say that we follow each other in Twitter, though.
chef David Muñoz from Madrid
The New York Times said about him he is Spain’s New Culinary Enfant Terrible, his restaurant DiverXO in Madrid, is the sole restaurant in Spain’s capital holding 3 Michelin stars. DiverXO is currently being moved to the Hotel NH Eurobuilding. He also runs a low cost version of DiverXO within El Corte Inglés Department Store at Callao in Madrid, the StreetXo, which will open in London a branch next summer. His cooking is highly creative, shocking with impossible pairings but cooked with passion, taste and a free spirit to deliver an unforgettable experience.
He states that at DiverXO he employs 31 people to serve 26 diners, that’s an impossible ratio worker/client in any kind of spectacle. Needless to say DiverXO loses money, something in common with, in his day, another 3 Michelin star Chef Ferran Adrià’s elBulli, who said that if he were to live from elBulli he would starve. Fortunately they both built a strong brand foundation and have parallel businesses/activities that would render incomes allowing them to be free at their kitchens.
Catalan chef Paco Pérez
Chef Paco Pérez & Irene Morcillo (tita Irene)
One of the best exponents of the avant-garde cuisine, flavor-driven, creative, consistent, hard working, revealing the essence of each product and the freshness of the Mediterranean in his dishes, is what describes Catalan Chef Paco Pérez, who worked in his origins at elBulli and is a declared fan of Ferran’s cuisine. Chef Paco Pérez is holding a total of 5 Michelin stars, 2 for Miramar, his first restaurant in Llançà on the Costa Brava, 2 for Enoteca within Hotel Arts Barcelona and one for Cinco by Paco Pérez within the Berliner Hotel Das Stue. He runs other establishments, among them, L’eggs, the first gastromomic restaurant in Barcelona that has the egg as the protagonist, acompanied with excelent coctails by the ginmaster Javier Caballero.
I love eggs so I decided to try L’eggs and I absolutely recommend it, great establishment, delicious meals and fair price. My chef instructor at the cookery school Hofmann stated about Paco Pérez that he was one of the most imaginative and skillful chefs in Spain who I was fortunate to meet some days ago.
A TRIBUTE TO CELEBRATED CATALAN CHEF SANTI SANTAMARIA
Chef Santi Santamaria was the first Catalan chef to be awarded 3 Michelin stars (from 1994 to 2011 in a row) for his restaurant El Racó de Can Fabes in Sant Celoni (Barcelona), now closed and it was voted 31st best in the World’s 50 best restaurants list organized by Restaurant Magazine in 2008. Santi was a legend who championed Catalan cuisine and brought it to international attention, his establishments added up 7 Michelin stars. He teamed traditional Catalan recipes with French nouvelle cuisine insisting on the importance of locally sourced fresh produce. He was also known for being the most outspoken critic to Ferran Adrià.
Irene Morcillo at Chef Santi Santamaria’s tribute cocktail
Irene Morcillo at Chef Santi Santamaria’s tribute before the dinner
Menú at chef Santi Santamaria’s tribute
Chef Santi Santamaria died suddenly aged 53 in February 2011 in his Singapur’s restaurant kitchen the Marina Bay Sands while giving Spanish food critics a tour of his newest restaurant. He had just served up to critics a plate of pan tumaca, the traditional Catalan appetizer of bread spread with olive oil, fresh tomato and shavings of Spanish ham.
On 9th July, 2012 Chef Xavier Pellicer, executive chef at El Racó de Can Fabes after Santi Santamaria’s death organized a dinner tribute to Chef Santi Santamaria at the Hotel Hesperia Tower in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, home to one of his restaurants, the futuristic Evo, currently closed. 1.000 people attended the tribute, myself included!
Santi Santamaria was a humanitarian chef stated Jordi Roglà director at Càritas, as he collaborated with several non-governmental organizations and this tribute was a thank you for so many years of generosity.
While researching for this post I bumped into another most recent tribute to Chef Santi Santamaria, something that put a smile on my face. The one that Catalan Chef Francesc Fernández aka Franki made some days ago at his establishment SAMFAINA Resto&GastroBar by Franki in Shanghai as the first of a series of Chef Franki‘s tributes to different chefs that have influenced his way of cooking.
FOR DESSERTS, A SWEET GLYMPSE TO SPANISH PASTRY CHEFS
Oriol Balaguer , famous award-winning revolutionary Catalan Pastry chef and owner of Oriol Balaguer establishments
Chef Pastry Oriol Balaguer & Irene Morcillo (tita Irene)
Chef Pastry Carles Mampel & Irene Morcillo (tita Irene)
Carles Mampel , internationally recognized award-winning Catalan Pastry chef and owner of Bubo establishments
Individual Cakes at Bubó
A rose cake prepared by one of the best World’s pastry chef Carles Mampel, since 2008 a member of prestigious Relais Dessert.
Christian Escribà, the exceptional Catalan Pastry Chef is an artist.
Pastelería Escribà at Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 546, BCN.
Pastelería Escribà at La Rambla, 83
Individual cakes at Pastelería Escribà
Josep Mª Rodríguez Guerola, is the 2011 Pastry world champion, he started studing at the same pastry and cooking school were I am studying, at Hofmann, from there he worked for the best in the pastry world, till he opened his own Pastry Shop: La Pastisseria Barcelona, in Barcelona.
La Pastisseria Barcelona at Carrer d’Aragó, 228, BCN.
A rose cake prepared by the World’s best pastry chef Josep Mª Rodriguez. Roses commemorate the St. George’s celebration in the city of Barcelona.
Paco Torreblanca one of the most famous and marvelous Pastry Chefs, he beautifully explains some of his desserts in his book: “La cocina dulce de Paco Torreblanca” which translates as “Paco Torreblanca’s sweet cuisine”.
Raúl Bernal, awarded and brilliant chocolate pastry chef and instructor at the Chocolate Academy.
Chef Pastry Raúl Bernal & Irene Morcillo (tita Irene)
One of my Chef Pastry instructors, Eric Ortuño, Irene Morcillo (tita Irene) and Mey Hofmann, at Hofmann Escola d’Hosteleria in Barcelona