Saturday, June 4, 2011

Els Brancs: Culinary Adventures in Spain!

After two long years I finally got to take a little vacation! With my school in Switzerland hosting a reunion, a trip to Europe had to be planned. Of course if I was going all the way to Switzerland I HAD to stop by Paris.  My Spanish friends Rene and Marlon promised ''If you come to Spain, we'll take you to the El Bulli kitchen''. That was all I needed to hear.

The best meals I've had are those that have changed my perception on ingredients I wouldn't normally like. While Roses remains famous for elBulli, what I will take away from this town is my meal at the gastronomic restaurant Els Brancs at Vistabella Hotel (and yes, the crew from elBulli goes to eat here too!).

The Perfect Setting

The Menu

Chef Javier with Marlon

Getting ready to eat!

Rose Cava anyone?

You had me at cocktail. First Course: Frozen Amaretto Sour.

Using Nitrogen to make our frozen drinks.

Et Voila!

Cucumber (yes, cucumber) Puree
Spherified Olive 

A play on Vicchyssoise.

Butter, Hawaiian Black Salt and Olive Oil from the region

Mushroom Cake with Truffle Oil

My favourite: Foie Gras, Cream Cheese and Brioche

Langoustine from Roses with macadamia, yoghurt and curry  
Socarrat'' of rice casserole- A play on Paella

Happy Diners

Atlantic wreck fish with green mojo sauce,broth of clams and “grana of lulo”

Iberian surprise pie

Patanegra Coquelet with scallops, emulsion of bergamot and soil of truffles

Sanguine Carrot Cake

Meringue, Gianduja Rocks to resemble Els Brancs and a lavender mousse

The Man! Chef Javier Cabrera
What I really liked about this meal was that even though it was a fine dining restaurant, it wasn't stuffy or pretentious. The service was impeccable and the staff was friendly and helpful. One gets to experience various cooking techniques and service styles in the set menu and for 86 euros a head it's such a steal!  Of course, the view is an added bonus. Even something as simple as their bread, butter, black salt and olive oil had us swooning. I am not a Foie Gras person but it just melted like butter in my mouth. I can still taste the rich, smooth and silky foie...sigh. The best part of the meal was the last course (dessert, of course :p) where they created a sweet steak tartare and prepared it in front of us (loved the showmanship).
I got the opportunity to work in the kitchen with the young talented chef (28 years old) Javier Cabrera for a few hours and he impressed me with his humility, knowledge and skill. He has been in the kitchen since age 14 and worked around Europe (even at elBulli) and is trying to create something different. As Marlon said ''If you want to experience true Culinary Revolution: Visit Spain''. After that meal, I believe him.

Working in the Els Brancs kitchen


  1. Hello Pooja!

    Thank you again for your lovely visit, we hope you had a wonderful trip back home.

    You wrote a wonderful article about your culinary experience at Els Brancs. Marlon and I hope to see you here very soon. We will keep you updated on our many projects and updates.

    Greetings from the whole team.

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