Virtuoso Life - November/December 2017 - 90
CARME RUSCALLEDA CELEBRATES LOCAL FLAVORS
Moments restaurant and (bottom) its Mujeres al Borde de un
Ataque de Nervios (Women on
the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) gazpacho, named for
the Pedro Almodóvar film.
Mostly self-taught, Carme Ruscalleda
is one of Spain's most accomplished
chefs, and her restaurants have
more Michelin stars than those of
any other female chef in the world -
seven in total - awarded to Sant Pau
in Spain's Sant Pol de Mar, Sant Pau
in Tokyo, and Moments at the Mandarin
Oriental, Barcelona. Ruscalleda describes
their refined Catalan cuisine as "rich and diverse, with an eclectic cultural background."
What food trend are you excited about? I am
thrilled to observe how chefs are still betting
on the values of well-cultivated and well-bred
ingredients from their surroundings, and applying their creativity and personality to them.
This has motivated me and my team from the
very beginning. In all my restaurants, the menus
are inspired by a theme - for example, "cities of
the world," "colors," "music," "cinema" - and we
compose each dish with local and seasonal products. Our autumn-winter menu is themed "the
world of spices," using products such as squid,
pomegranate, turnips, pumpkins, walnuts, and
goat cheese. Behind each product there is a local
producer who works closely with us.
Which restaurants do this well? At De Leest
in Vaassen, the Netherlands, chef Jacob Jan
Boerma uses the country's landscape and tradition of the sea to inspire his original and free
expression using local products and contrasting
dressings that add to a very elegant, fresh, and
subtle gastronomic game. Chef Fina Puigdevall
at Les Cols, near the town of Olot [in Spain],
creates menus linked to the territory with cuisine that emphasizes regional ingredients such
as buckwheat, veggies grown in volcanic soil,
eggs from happy hens, and the Spanish tradition
of canned fish.
How do you like to eat when traveling? I search
for contrast to my daily life. I seek emotion, to
know myself, pleasure, and to learn.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
m Alain Ducasse
Le Louis XV
Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo
PULL UP A CHAIR: Ruscalleda and her son Raül
Balam Ruscalleda manage two-Michelin-starred Moments, at the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, conjuring refined Catalan cuisine à la carte or through a
tasting menu served in a contemporary dining room
with a view of the kitchen magic.
m Francis Mallmann
by Francis Mallmann
Faena Hotel Miami Beach
m Enrique Olvera
The Cape, a Thompson Hotel,
Cabo San Lucas