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- Thursday, 26 December 2013 16:56 | Written by Matthias Tesi Baur
Premio Nadal 2003 to the Revelation Restaurant in Barcelona awarded by the Cookers and Pastry Chefs Guild from Barcelona
Best Young Chef of Catalonia in 2005 warded by the Catalan Academy of Gastronomy.
1 Michelín Star from 2007.
Interview with Chef Xavier Franco:
1. Tesi: Dear Xavier, some chefs discover their love for food and their gift to prepare ingredients in an outstanding way quite late, for some other it is already clear in their childhood years that they will become a chef. At which point in time did you discover your gift to prepare food far beyond normal standards?
Chef Xavier Franco: The first time I said “I want to be a cook” I was seven. It was in a family dinner at my grand-parent country house at Les Borges Blanques in Lleida, land of olive and fruit trees my mother’s family used to grow. I helped my cousin that evening and we still remember that moment. From then on, the idea stayed in my mind, I knew what I wanted to be. The question came back when I finished my high school… and here I am!
2. Tesi: The most underrated cuisine in the world is...
Chef Xavier Franco: Without doubt, homemade meals are always undervalued. However much we compliment and remember the recipes from our moms and grandmas, they will never be recognized enough. Their meals bear witness of our memories and are the basis of any human being. The act of cooking and eating is an energetic communion within those fluctuating around. Cooking is culture; cooking are roots; cooking is an act of love and concern toward people.
3. Tesi: What is your favorite dish and why do you love that dish?
Chef Xavier Franco: It’s a dificult question because I like som many things! Coming back to what I mentioned before, when you feel unconditional love in the preparation of a food, the energetic shot you get is priceless.
4. Tesi: A young and talented chef is on the edge of making their decision if they want to turn their talent into a professional career or if they want to develop their skills to cook as a hobby. What would your advice be for them?
Chef Xavier Franco: Doubtless, he shoudl feel his heart. Cooking is an artisan profession you must let your emotions come out and let them flow, without too rational limits. I would tell him to think for a second in this question: do I want to make others happy? Because that is all about, unconditional love toward others will bring your energetic field higher and higher.
5. Tesi: Where do you get your inspiration when you create a menu? Do you follow a method or a routine when you create a menu or is it different every time?
Chef Xavier Franco: My basis is Catalan cuisine, and I play with tradition and combinations. This is my very first line of fire. A cook and his cuisine are related to its territory, and this should always be the cornerstone on which to build ideas and set limits. Then you can paint with new colors and explore, because your base is well-funded.
You can be inspired by a recipe, but in my case, most of the time I am inspired by the product. It’s the product that drives my thoughts until I find the perfect dress for that occasion and the most appropriate complements.
6. Tesi: What does good food mean to you?
Chef Xavier Franco: A good meal is the one able to uplift my spirit in any circumstance; it transmits honesty and intentionality. And if it is shared with my love ones, much better.
The World Gourmet Society Festival 2014 menu to discover new culinary landscapes:
SECRET INGREDIENTS OR GAME FOR EACH DISH
Mollusks Bloody Mary
Which are the molluscs?
Creamy Foie, Muscatel and Onions “crumble”
Which is the citric?
Mount terrine, Pickles and black Truffle
What type of meat?
Tomato flatbread and Pickles, grilled Sardines and tender Almonds
What type of vinegar has been used in the sardine?
Rice of Shrimps and Zucchini
How is the rice buttered?
Red Mullet with Artichokes and Dewlap pork Barigoule
Which ingredient brings the smoothness and unctuosity?
Stuffed Poulard in Menorca 1714
What does the filling consist of?
The textured Fruit dessert
Guess all the fruits
Truffled Rice with Milk
What is the smoke made from? And the ice-cream?
Please see more information regarding the World Gourmet Society Festival and book at table to enjoy the menu at: http://www.world-gourmet-society.com/festival
Pictures of the restaurant and Chef Xavier Franco ‘s cooking skills:
Biography of Chef Xavier Franco:
In 1984, at the age of 14 he starts his education at the hospitality school Escola d’Hosteleria Sant Narcís in Girona and for the 5 following years he combines education with several internships in restaurants and hotels in Costa Brava. His first job marked his career since he had the opportunity of working hand in hand with Santi Santamaría from El Racó de Can Fabes, at his best growing period, and contributing to the acquisition of the 2nd Michelin star of this emblematic establishment. He stayed three more years and then left to discover worldwide cuisines before coming back with Santamaria who already had the 3rd star. After two intensive years, at 26, he starts teaching at CETT school and does so for five years. There he met his partner, Anna Doñate, and both embark on the adventure of opening their own restaurant Saüc in 2002.
Beginnings are promising for Saüc, customers and gastronomic critics recognize his particular style and great command and respect for product. In 2004, Xavier was part of a young chefs group with new proposals in haute cuisine, in a closer way and far from unnecessary ornaments of former age.
In the center of the kitchen democratization movement Xavier is considered one of the best Catalan chefs and after several awards, he is regarded by the red guide with a 1st Michelin star in 2007/2008.
By that time he lives between Beijing and Barcelona. At the Chinese capital he leads a Spanish restaurant, an experience that lasts for 30 months as a business but continues to influence his cuisine.
Back in Barcelona, in 2010 he receives the proposal of moving Saüc to the 5* hotel Ohla. He accepts and not only does he manage the restaurant but he is responsible for the overall gastronomic offer of the establishment. He has set a gastronomic countertop and a cocktail bar. This decision represents a substantial improvement of the working area, equipment and team, and has contributed to the growth of offer and a very promising near future.
To book a table at Restaurant Saüc / Barcelona email
(quoting “Sauc” in the subject line).
For more information about the festival and the other participating restaurants and chefs across the world please visit