Chef Name: Fernando P. Arellano
Awards: Two Michelin Stars.
How old were you when you started cooking professionally?
What’s your earliest and fondest first memory of food?
My mother’s cocido madrileño (a traditional chickpea stew from my home town).
Which chefs inspire you most and why?
During my early days working as a commis or chef de partie, Ferran Adrià was my biggest inspiration.
What are your two favourite cookbooks and why?
It would be hard to say, because there are books that were important to me at different stages of my career, so allow me to mention a few.
White Heat by Marco Pierre White – not just beautiful but motivational, as it proves that hard work can take you far from the very bottom.
La Ética Del Gusto by Santi Santamaría – great philosophy, a lot of sensibility and respect for the handcrafting and the products.
Larousse Gastronomique – a bible for me at the beginning. I was reading through it every night in bed.
Desserts from El Bulli by Albert Adrià – it made me fall in love with pastry back in those days.
Which two ingredients could you not live without?
Garlic and Spanish paprika.
What is your favourite comfort food to cook at home?
Pasta all’ Amatriciana.
If you could eat at any Michelin star restaurant in the world today, where would it be and why?
Geranium maybe, as it is probably among the highest expressions of Nordic cuisine. It doesn’t inspire my work but since it is so celebrated these days I would like to dive into it a bit to develop some kind of sensibility towards it. I have never been to Scandinavia.
And who would you take as your guest?
I would probably go by myself as I would pay more attention to the details.
What do you look for in a good chef?
Solid background, great bases (stocks, sofritos), great taste, originality and the ability to tell stories and create an event or experience through their food.
What advice would you give to chefs starting their career paths now?
Buy and read Larousse Gastronomique. Dive into traditional foods. Look for their own story. Learn techniques but NEVER copy.
Fernando P. Arellano is Executive Chef at Restaurant Zaranda
Telephone: +34 972 138 627
Address: Castell Son Claret, Carretera Capdella, Galilea k.m. 1.7, Galilea, Mallorca.