Chef Name: Oriol Castro Forns.
Title: Chef and Co-Owner of Disfrutar and Compartir Restaurants (with partners Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas).
Two Michelin Stars in Michelin Guide 2019
Highest New Entry on the list of The Best Chef Top 100 Awards #5 and Gourmet Award for Best Restaurant in Barcelona, 2019
Number 9 on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Best Restaurant QueFem? By La Vanguardia, 2019
Three Suns in The Repsol Guide 2018 & 2019
Number 12 on the Top 100+ European Restaurants 2018 of Europe’s best restaurants by OAD, 2018 & 2019
Highest New Entry on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants reaching number 18, 2018
Best Restaurant in Barcelona, Macarfi Guide, 2017, 2018 & 2019
Winner of the Miele One to Watch Award, 2017.
Number 55, 51-100 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, 2017.
Best New European Restaurant, Opinionated about Dining, 2016.
Restaurant of the Year, Catalan Academy of Gastronomy and Nutrition, 2015.
Two Suns in the 2018 & 2019 Repsol Guide.
Number 11 on the Top 100+ European Gourmet Casual Restaurants 2018 by OAD.
How old were you when you started cooking professionally?
I started studying at Escola Joviat in 1990. The first place I worked as a cook was at Morros restaurant in Torredembarra. It was a summer job. During and after my studies I started as an apprentice in different restaurants – Martín Berasategui, El Dorado Petit and Paco Torreblanca pâtisserie. I also did a three-day course at elBulli. In 1995, when I finished my studies, I started working with Jean Luc Figueras for a year, and then in 1996 I went to elBulli.
What’s your earliest and fondest first memory of food?
If I think of my first memories of food, my thoughts are of my mother and my grandmother. They were always cooking at home and I loved their ‘snails in juice’, roast chicken and gilt-headed bream in salt.
Which chefs inspire you most and why?
Without a doubt, Ferran Adrià. His cuisine was really different and it changed the way I thought about cooking. elBulli was unique for its restaurant concept, for its philosophy, for the way we worked and for the connection between the kitchen and the dining room.
What are your two favourite cookbooks and why?
There are a lot of interesting cookbooks, but if I can only choose two they would be Le Livre de Michel Bras by Michel Bras and Alain Boudier, because when the book was published it was so bold, and El Práctico. Resumen Mundial de Cocina y Pastelería by Ramon Rabasó and Fernando Aneiros, because this book has a great deal of information and synthesis about cooking and pâtisserie.
Which two ingredients could you not live without?
I cannot live without salt and sugar.
What is your favourite comfort food to cook at home?
At home I like to cook rice. It’s a great dish for sharing with family and friends. It also signifies the act of sharing in the middle of the table with a saucepan or casserole that’s very typical here.
If you could eat at any Michelin star restaurant in the world today, where would it be and why?
Nowadays I would like to eat at Etxebarri. I ate there in 1998 and it would be great to see how it has evolved since then. Etxebarri is the temple of grilled produce.
And who would you take as your guest?
Leo Messi, because I’m a Futbol Club Barcelona supporter, and Miquel Barceló, because he is a great creative person.
What do you look for in a good chef?
A good chef, first of all, has to be a good person. I also appreciate that he or she be honest, sincere and that they have great values. In relation to cooking, it is important that they bring new things to gastronomy.
What advice would you give to chefs starting their career paths now?
For the chefs starting their career I would like to say that they have to have a lot of excitement and desire to learn. They have to be constant in their jobs and they have to recognize that they will never know everything and that they can learn something new every day.
Chef Oriol Castro is Chef and Co-Owner of Disfrutar and Compartir.
Website: www.disfrutarbarcelona.com & www.compartircadaques.com
Address: C/Villarroel, 163, Barcelona, 08036
Telephone: +34 933 486 896
Instagram: @oriolcastroforns & @disfrutarbcn & @compartir_restaurant
Twitter: @DisfrutarBCN & @CompartirCDQ