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Friday, January 23, 2015

Tête à Tête with BelleBarcelone #8: Diversity without falling into monotony by Eduard Xatruch and Oriol Castro.

After enjoying a couple of times in Cadaques, at Compartir; I was glad when Disfrutar opened in Barcelona. 
I decided to have a chat with these chefs as I loved both their restaurants, their philosophy and the savoir faire they had. 
I met them one evening at Disfrutar for our chat. I had seen them at work the 1st time I had been at Disfrutar.

I had a comfortable chat  with Eduard Xatruch and Oriol Castro; Mateu Casañas was in Cadaques. The 3 of them were chefs at El Bulli and when it closed down they decided to open their restaurant. 

BelleBarcelone: Why do the name of your restaurants are gerund?
Eduard & Oriol: We were deeply involved in the making of our restaurant, the interior, the dishes, the colors and feelings that we didn't really know what to name it! Then a couple of months before its opening, we came up with Compartir (to share). It was what we wanted to transmit to our clients, come in family and share. For Barcelona we didn't want to put Compartir 2 or Compartir Barcelona, even though we are the same, what we want to offer here is different. We want the clients to enjoy and feel the experience and come out with an happy sensation: Disfrutar
BBHow do you combine being in Barcelona and Cadaques. 
E & O: We are lucky, we are 3 of us. Every day we have to be here or there, so sometimes we go to Cadaques and sometimes we are here. One or 2 of us are always present, and we feel it is very important. It is the way to learn and improve daily. 
BB: Do you think that your years at El Bulli is behind the success of your restaurants?
E & O:  Our years there have taught us a lot. We can't deny that when we opened locals came because we were in town, but many tourists and the media came due to our connection with El Bulli. It has also been a challenge because people come with an expectation. At Compartir we offer tradition in a modern way and people have liked it. We didn't try to make a mini El Bulli. 
After 3 years there, being quite established we decided it was time for us to open in Barcelona. And here we are.  
BB: What type of clientèle comes to Disfrutar?
E&O: All ages are welcome. We just had a table with a young kid and another table with a 81 year old person. They both enjoyed, you could feel their emotions during the meal. That is something that gives us the biggest joy and pride, it is an achievement for us to witness the pleasure in all the generations while they are having the tasting menu. 
We also are particular about people's allergies, pregnant women and preferences. For instance you came and you enjoyed your vegetarian menu, we try to please everyone. Everyone has the right to enjoy without restrictions.
BB: what essentials wouldn't be missed in your kitchen. 
E&O: Pinenuts, dry fuits, parmesan , truffle or fish. I don't say truffle just for the sake of it, we use truffle to enrich our dishes, we used its flavor for specific goals. 
BB: How do you elaborate your tasting menu? 
E&O: It is a slow process and has a very organic structure. We make new dishes, we try them and improve them. We also use the season products. We try to get the best products available, if we need to go a bit far to get potatoes for example we will. The flavors of each product is very important.
BB: What do you want to offer at Disfrutar /what are you offering?
E&O: Modern cuisine in a relaxed and fun mode. We want to offer new products and of course the best quality: Diversity without falling into monotony. 
We get inspired in Catalan cuisine and from all international cuisine: Italian, Mexican...
BB: What type of cuisine does appeal you in a personal level?
E&O: We love traditional dishes, de "cuchara" as we say here but enjoy the nouvelle cuisine as well. We love good food. 
BB: Do you cook at home?
E&O: We love cooking, it is our passion. But once home, we like spending time with the family, taking the children out and enjoying with them. We don't really get too much time to cook. 
BB: What would be that special dinner you would want to have on a special occasion. 
E&O: When we will have it, we will come to know. We can't really tell. What about you?

And here I leave you with this question. It was a chilling conversation in their restaurant, you can see the review on Disfrutar here and on Compartir here.

Draw me a dish! by Eduard and Oriol! You can start guessing what is it...

Clockwise: Eduard Xatruch, Oriol Castro and myself. We missed you Mateu Casañas. 

The wonderful chefs at Disfrutar!


A day with BelleBarcelone

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