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Carme Ruscalleda: “Our cuisine is more rural. It focuses more on local products and is more accessable”

In a video interview, the Catalan chef who has been awarded five Michelin Stars, Carme Ruscalleda, explains her vision of Catalan cuisine. She describes it as a combination of specific techniques and wit carried out by farmers and fishermen mixed with French and Italian bourgeois cuisine. According to her, Catalonia’s gastronomy is derived from local products and is spreading worldwide, thanks in part to the influence of Ferran Adrià.

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14 March 2011 09:55 PM

by

Gastroteca.cat / CNA / Ignacio Portela Giráldez

Barcelona (Gastroteca.cat) .-Carme Ruscalleda is the first woman ever to win three Michelin Stars in Spain with her innovative creations at the Sant Pau Restaurant in Sant Pol de Mar, Catalonia. She has also been awarded with two more Michelin Stars for her Nihonbashi Restaurant in Tokyo.  Ruscalleda explained the way she views Catalan cuisine and compared it with other European gastronomic cultures. She praised Adrià\u2019s positive influence in spreading this important element of the Catalan culture around the world.  


Self-taught and avant-garde, Carme Ruscalleda is the first woman ever to win three Michelin Stars in Spain. Her traditional Catalan cuisine mixed with innovative influences is raved about all over the world, as shown by the three Michelin Stars awarded to her for her Sant Pau Restaurant in Sant Pol de Mar (close to Barcelona) or the two stars for her Nihonbashi restaurant in Tokyo.

In this interview, Ruscalleda emphasised the importance of the products used. They help in the evolution of the cuisine and in particular it has been fundamental for the Catalan cuisine. The product attracts and surprises the customer and leads the chef to mix different kinds of food in a specific dish.

For Ruscalleda, the Catalan cuisine is heavily influenced by the region\u2019s geography, which sees the coastline contrast with mountains and plains. Ruscalleda stated that the Catalan cuisine is a mixture of a \u201Crural cuisine\u201D. This comes from \u201Cthe fishermen wit and farmers\u2019 techniques\u201D and is combined with a great influence from French and Italian bourgeois cuisine. This mix is fundamental in creating a worldwide recognisable cuisine, Ruscalleda claimed. Therefore, Catalan chefs become ambassadors of Catalan products. For that she praised Ferran Adrià\u2019s genius as he has contributed to bringing the Catalan cuisine to the whole world.

Ruscalleda hopes that the young and upcoming chefs in Catalonia will keep this \u2018savoir-faire\u2019 and the characteristic style of protecting their own culture. She also hoped to see their names one day being up there with other celebrated chefs from all over the world.

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  • Carme Ruscalleda in her restaurant's garden (by Gastroteca.cat)

  • Carme Ruscalleda in her restaurant's garden (by Gastroteca.cat)
Video interview with Carme Ruscalleda