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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tête à Tête with BelleBarcelone #16: Carles Tejedor - multifaceted & successful chef!

Carles Tejedor, dynamic & restless, is covering quite a few interesting projects. This chef has worked in the best hotels and restaurants around the world . He is presently in control of the gastronomic offer of the grand and beautiful El Nacional; at the same time continuing with his huge project Oilmotion-Oilab as well as collaborating in the Bullipedia with Ferran Adrià. I met him one morning at El Nacional and here is our informal chat.
It was long and interesting, I hope i can write down all the emotions and words that went by with enthusiasm. 
BelleBarcelone: How are you in so many different projects? How do you cope up?
Carles Tejedor: I started as a pastry chef and went to the UK where I worked in the prestigious hotel Savoy in 1999. It wasn't an easy task to reach there. Spanish tapas were just becoming known and we opened the first tapas in a 5 star hotel in UK: in the foyer of Savoy. I then went to California where I worked in some luxury hotels. I then had to come back home in Barcelona due to personal reasons. I started at Via Veneto and was there for 7 years. Around the same time Ferran Adria started the Bullipedia with some of the most prestigious chefs we have such as Joan Roca, Carme Ruscadella and he asked me to join. I also started my OILmotion and gave talks at universities: Harvard, MIT & UB. In Harvard everyone has their own lab and I decided I should have my own and I created the app: OilLab. It is a free app to see all the aspects, differences and uses of the 190 variety of oils in the world. 
So these are my projects: Oilmotion, Oilab, collaborating in the BulliPedia and being in the gastronomic team at El Nacional. 
BB: How does El Nacional work, with such a huge space and many different offers?
CT: I am in charge of the gastronomic area and brainstorming. So we plan the diverse menus for each areas. I have a team of my own and each space as its own chef but we all work together. It is huge, we have a lot of visitors everyday in the different spaces, locals as well as tourists. 
BB: Where does the path taking you now?
CT: I am here at El Nacional. I work on my Oil Motion, from where we manage a lab (OILAB Beijing and OILAB Bcn), dedicated to consulting in the food and beverage business. I am participating as a teacher in the “Science&cooking” masters at Harvard University since2009- once a year- and also participate in  on-line course also with Harvard and MIT University.
I have been taking part of several food courses or conferences teaching around the world like Singapur, Beijing, Tokio,Hong-kong, NewYork, Chicago, London,etc..I collaborate in Bullipedia in the olive oil section. I will soon be joining Javier de Las Muelas in Speak Easy _ the hidden restaurant of Dry martini. 
BB: In which cuisine do you inspire yourself?
CT: In China and London. I have a great connection with China and London is my second home. I feel very connected to that city as I went there at a very young age. When I came back to Spain, I used to back to London almost every weekend as I needed that connection. So yes the essence of London as well as Honk Kong  inspire my cuisine. 
BB: What is the concept of Barcelona's dinning? It is not fine dining like Paris nor cosmopolitan as London. 
CT: No it is not. Barcelona is not fine dining but Fun Dining. We want people to feel while eating, we give them a unique experience. 
BB: What is your motto?
CT: Dar Valor al Valor.
Give value to the value, to every single thing. Each details count. 
I then asked him to draw something, and unlike the other times I have done that with chefs I knew exactly what he would draw as he was so passionate and expressive. 


A day with BelleBarcelone

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