Spanish chef focuses on creativity to deal with recession

Santiago, April 11 (IANS/EFE) Spanish chef Joan Roca said Wednesday in Chile that he had managed to ride out Spain’s economic crisis by emphasizing excellence and creativity.

The chef, who along with his two brothers manages the famous El Celler de Can Roca restaurant in the Catalonian city of Girona, in northeastern Spain, is in Santiago to participate in the third edition of the Nam Santiago cooking festival.

“We’re keeping the commitment to excellence, to quality, and we’re keeping the commitment to competitiveness,” the chef told EFE.

The top figures in Spanish gastronomy must “continue moving forward” despite the difficult economic situation people are in, Roca said.

“Now, we’ve run more risks than ever, we’ve made a greater commitment to creativity, to research. We’re devoting more resources to developing ideas,” Roca said.

The chef in 2012 received the Grand Prix de l’Art de la Cuisine (Grand Prize of Culinary Arts) awarded by the International Academy of Gastronomy.

The chef said that he had not had to revise the business model for his restaurant due to the crisis, but rather he decided to redouble his commitment to the values that had brought him success, which are “work and creativity”.

“You don’t have to stop the machinery, but rather give it more of a push because we believe that there are still things to do, there is discourse and things to explain,” Roca said.

Attending the Nam Santiago festival, which will run from Wednesday through Friday, along with Roca will be some of Latin America’s best-known chefs, including Peru’s Gaston Acurio, Brazil’s Alex Atala and Mexico’s Enrique Olvera.



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