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Illustrious ‘Can Fabes’ restaurant auctions off its furniture and equipment

Following the closure of former 3-Michelin-stars ‘Can Fabes’ restaurant (50km north of Barcelona) in August 2013, 500 lots of kitchen tools, dinner services and pieces of furniture were auctioned off on Monday in Barcelona. After the death of its Chef Santi Santamaria in early 2011, the restaurant was temporarily run by his daughter until it closed down for financial reasons. The Santamaria family explained they did not want the equipment to stay packed in boxes and forgotten. On the contrary, they decided to organise an auction so that these objects could continue being used by professionals and cuisine connoisseurs alike.The Santamaria family has also presented three of the Chef’s most personal objects such as his aprons and three of his own paintings. Many renowned Catalan Chefs paid tribute to Santi Santamaria by attending the event.

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17 December 2013 07:51 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Following the closure of former 3-Michelin-stars ‘Can Fabes’ restaurant (50km north of Barcelona) in August 2013, 500 lots of kitchen tools, dinner services and pieces of furniture were auctioned off on Monday in Barcelona. After the death of its Chef Santi Santamaria in early 2011, the restaurant was temporarily run by his daughter, Regina Santamaria, until it closed down for financial reasons. The Santamaria family explained they did not want the equipment to stay packed in boxes and forgotten. On the contrary, they decided to organise an auction so that these objects could continue being used by professionals and cuisine connoisseurs alike. Regina Santamaria explained that they had done so after the Chef of Barcelona’s ‘Caelis’ restaurant, Roman Fornell, had shown some interest in ‘Can Fabes’ equipment. Along with the kitchen utensils and restaurant furniture, the Santamaria family has presented three of the Chef’s most personal objects: his aprons, one of his books, and three of his own paintings executed with coffee or sepia ink. The cheapest items had a starting price of €10 while the famous silver kitchen cart used to serve roast beef had a price of €23,000. However, the many renowned chefs who attended the auction fought the hardest for objects in the mid-price range or unique screen printed dishes. These objects, handmade and designed exclusively for ‘Can Fabes’ had a starting price of approximately €800.


The auction featured the collaboration of prestigious Catalan Chefs such as the Roca brothers, which run a three-Michelin-star restaurant, el Celler de Can Roca, which was named the world’s best restaurant this year. Other attending chefs were Martín Berasategui, Nandu Jubany, Roman Fornell, Quim Vila and Javier de las Muelas, among others. Joan Roca, the Chef of ‘El Celler de Can Roca’ restaurant in Girona (Northern Catalonia), said before the start of the auction, that he had come to “help, collaborate and participate. Then we will cook tapas for everyone participating in the auction”, he explained.  “We are close to the family who has taken the decision to auction ‘Can Fabes’ utensils and we will try to remain useful for the catering or domestic help” he added. According to him, the most valuable objects were the outstanding collection of silver ware which is “very significant and very characteristic of Can Fabes”, not to mention “remarkably beautiful”.  

Three paintings, a book, and the Chef’s aprons the most personal objects

Regina Santamaria said that amongst the most unique objects auctioned off were three pictures by Santi Santamaria himself. “One of his passions was painting. We have a collection of fifty paintings made \u200B\u200Bby him with coffee or sepia ink and we have presented three [at the auction] because afterwards we plan on exhibiting all of them. We had to show a small sample today” she explained.

Santamaria’s family members have stated they had wanted all of the pieces to be auctioned so they could continue being used in other restaurants or in the homes of food lovers. Along with the kitchen utensils and restaurant furniture, they presented three of the Chef’s most personal objects: his aprons, one of his own books, and the three works painted with coffee or sepia ink. The first of these items, an apron bearing the Chef’s name, was used regularly by Santi Santamaria when he took part in cooking events. In a traditional way, Santamaria’s aprons did not bear the his name, except during such events. The second item is a book, La Cocina al Desnudo (Cooking unconcealed) which Santamaria read regularly. The last of these items are the three paintings.

€10 for the cheapest objects, €23,000 for the famous ‘roast beef’ kitchen cart

All of Santamaria’s typical kitchen ware, dishes and china were auctioned off: The mugs, teapots, pans, spoons, typical egg-shaped bowls and plates with the logo of the restaurant were presented along with the mirror of the reception, chairs, tables, sofas or large egg-shaped lamps that used to decorate the dining room. The cheapest items had a starting price of €10 while the silver kitchen cart used to serve roast beef had a price of €23,000. However, the most expensive items have not attracted the highest interest. There has been more intense ‘fighting’, especially among renowned chefs, for objects in the mid-price range or more unique screen printed dishes. These objects, handmade and designed exclusively for ‘Can Fabes’ had a starting price of approximately €800.

Santi Santamaria the first Catalan Chef to achieve 3 Michelin stars

The Santamaria family had announced that the world famous Can Fabes restaurant would close in August 2013 after being at the forefront of Catalan cuisine for more than 3 decades. The restaurant, located in Sant Celoni (50km north of Barcelona), received the highest Michelin award in 1994 and retained its 3 stars for 18 years under the direction of Santi Santamaria. He was one of the worlds most celebrated chefs and the first Spanish cook to be awarded 7 Michelin stars. The Catalan Chef used to run five restaurants, with most of them awarded several Michelin stars.

Santamaria died from a heart attack at the age of 53 in Singapore in February 2011, while he was working on the development of his new restaurant in the city. Following his death the family’s group of restaurants was managed by the chef’s daughter, Regina Santamaria. In the last three years the family started to gradually lose ownership of some of the restaurants and eventually only run ‘Can Fabes’. The illustrious restaurant lost one Michelin star in 2012 and it finally closed its doors in 2013.

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  • Some of Can Fabes' special plates (by P. Solà)

  • Some of Can Fabes' special plates (by P. Solà)