The Catalan cuisine has long been in the spotlight of food innovation and haute cuisine. But although the jumpstart of its worldly renowned trajectory may be marked by the success of Ferran Adrià and El Bulli, other chefs are contributing to it with their creativity, talent and distinctive expressions of their own tastes and inspirations.
1. Jordi Artal – Cinc Sentits
Jordi proudly defines himself as a “completely self-taught” cook. Ever since his return from Canada, where he grew up, he’s been dedicating his cuisine to Catalunya’s culinary traditions. He experiments with organic ingredients and fusions nouvelle-cuisine with Catalan traditional dishes, aiming to engage all five senses in the tasting. His restaurant Cinc Sentits (Catalan for five senses) opened its doors in 2004 and maintains until today the Michelin star won in 2008.
Carrer d’Aribau 58, Barcelona, Spain
+34 933 23 94 90
2. Romain Fornell – Caelis
Romain was the youngest ever French chef to win a Michelin star – and the only to win a star in both his country and Spain. Born in Toulouse, he defends that “haute cuisine must be creative but sustainable”. In Barcelona, he is the head chef at Caelis restaurant, which in 2015 completed 10 years – by the way, this is one of our food & wine guru Danny Adler’s favorite restaurant in town 🙂
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 668, Barcelona, Spain
+34 93 510 11 30
3. Abert Adriá – Tickets
Don’t get confused: Ferran Adriá was the chef of the world’s most famous restaurant El Bulli (which closed its doors to become a lab – you can see the trajectory here), and Albert Adriá is his younger brother. Since El Bulli closed, Albert has been working on his food empire: the three restaurants he opened in Barcelona (Tickets, Pakta and Bodega 1900, all in the same block). Tickets, the most famous of all three due to its fabulous molecular dishes, needs to be booked 3 months in advance.
Avinguda del Paral·lel 164, Barcelona, Spain
Joan is – let me see how to put this – the head chef in the best restaurant in the world. In the world! We’re talking about El Celler de Can Roca, located in Girona (the second biggest town in Catalunya, within a 1-hour drive from Barcelona). His tasting menu runs 20 courses between traditional, experimental and molecular gastronomy – and what he calls “perfume cooking” – and is definitely worth a try (that is, if you book one year in advance, of course).
El Celler de Can Roca
Carrer Can Sunyer 48, Girona, Spain
+34 972 22 21 57
5. Jordi Cruz
Jordi is some sort of Catalan cuisine’s sweetheart. Born in the quiet village of Manresa (north of Barcelona), he won his first Michelin star when he was 24! Despite his baby face, he’s now 37, collects four stars and many other serious awards, and wears the chef hat in three restaurants: ABaC Restaurant, Angle Barcelona, and Ten’s Tapas Restaurant. What else? Well, he’s also the main face of Masterchef Spain.
ABaC Restaurant and Hotel
Avinguda del Tibidabo 1, Barcelona, Spain
+34 933 19 66 00
There’s gotta be a woman in the list! And not just any woman: Carme Ruscalleda, owner of the restaurant Sant Pau (in Sant Pol de Mar, in the Catalan coast) and of Sant Pau de Tóquio (in Japan). Her restaurants have five Michelin stars in total: three in her restaurant in Catalonia and two for the Sant Pau in Tokyo, making her the world’s only five-Michelin-starred female chef. She is also one of only four women in the world to hold the highest distinction in the Michelin guide. Her cuisine is strongly focused in Catalan traditional dishes, but still open to worldly influences.
Carrer Nou, 10, 08395 Sant Pol de Mar, Barcelona, Spain + 34 937 60 06 62