"As a chef, the most important part is not to damage the product" stated Oriol and Miquel Rovira

The Rovira Brothers make an unrivalled gastronomic duo. They claim that having a close relationship with the producers is a key element to get the best out of the products they use.

Gastroteca.cat / CNA / Ignacio Portela Giráldez

March 29, 2011 07:53 PM

Barcelona (Gastroteca.cat).- Oriol and Miquel Rovira own a self-sufficient business. Oriol Rovira is the chef of 'Els Casals' Restaurant, awarded with one Michelin Star, and his brother Miquel supplies the products from the farm and livestock owned by their family. For that reason Oriol Rovira is best known as the "Farmer Chef" for his self-grown products. The Rovira Brothers explained to CNA how this synergy works: emphasising the importance of the relationship between producers, chefs and consumers. This recipe may be a solution in order to overcome the economic crisis. However, in order to manage surplus stocks, enhanced cooperation with the tertiary sector may be essential.

The Rovira Brothers are gastronomic proof that two heads think better than one. Oriol Rovira is the Chef of 'Els Casals' Restaurant, and Miquel Rovira is a farmer that supplies his brother with fresh and top-quality products. This relationship works both ways and benefits each other: Oriol has earned a Michelin Star for his restaurant, and Miquel has in his brother the best client and showcase possible.

"As a chef, the most important part of my job is not to damage the product" claims Oriol, aware that his brother's products are a key element of his cuisine’s success, which is a mix of farmer's recipes with avant-garde experimentation. Miquel emphasised the importance of maintaining a good relationship with chefs, who act as mediators with the general public. "You have to bring the product as close as possible to the consumer. It is a challenge, but is fundamental", claims Miquel. He believes the survival of farmers and producers lie in these kinds of relationships that, on the one hand give chefs top-quality products for their restaurants, and, on the other hand, give added value to the local farming and livestock supply. As Oriol puts it "this closeness does not guarantee to make you better, but it does help you to increase the quality greatly".

One of the biggest risks they face in this kind of self-sufficient business is surplus stocks. "Sometimes we get 150kg of tomatoes or sometimes 200kg. And we have to get the best out of them". Every once in a while, the Rovira Brothers have an excessive amount of a particular product, and it is during these times that they have to put their minds to work, in order to manage and exploit these products in every possible recipe imaginable. Otherwise, the stock surplus may put in jeopardy the restaurant and farm's self-fed economy.

In order to get over the economic crisis, Miquel expresses his belief that the tertiary sector may provide salvation for farmers, and he feels quite optimistic about it. "If we do not explore this sector, it will be difficult for us [to survive]. But I think we will get over it".