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Els Brancs: Culinary Adventures in Spain! by Pooja Dhingra

This is a copy of a post by Pooja Dhingra’s experience, a famous pastry Chef in India, at the gastronomic Restaurant Els Brancs. 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!). 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.