HE DIDN´T WEAR A CAPE OR MASK, BUT HE WAS MY HERO: My father was a true
master of chocolate confections and pastries. I would sit for hours preparing
delights in his pastry shop in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi (a district in Barcelona) —eyes
wide, mouth watering and mind racing. With my small fumbling fingers I would
try to re-create pies and treats just as magical as my father´s. The motions, the
scents, the feelings all seemed natural—part of a deep, familiar rhythm. Any
pastry that had chocolate was my favorite and it was my childhood memories
that would inspire my award-winning ˝ 8 Layers of Chocolate˝ dessert, also the
most complicated pastry I´ve made. I have no doubt that the desire to craft
confections was in my blood. There was simply no other place I would rather be
and nothing else I would rather do.
Although my education began at his side and he patiently guided me as much
as he could, he was soon introducing me to the best pastry shops in Barcelona.
For a short time I tried my hand at studying the fine arts and while I adored
the subject, the same fire wasn´t in my heart and I knew immediately that the
same passion would never be there. Instead, I threw myself into my work at the
Confectionery School of Barcelona and trained at the best patisseries in Spain
and Belgium. One of the most profound parts of my education was working
with Ferran Adrià and his team at El Bulli. It was a dream come true and later,
when he said I was ˝one of the most well-rounded professionals in the world of
gastronomy,˝ I was ecstatic. I excelled in many different areas and it gave me
the confidence to experiment.
Apparently, Adrià´s faith in me was well founded: When I was honoured with the
title of Best Spanish Artisan Confectionery Master at 23, my career began and I
really understood the power of my own confectionary voice. I opened my first
studio in 2002, but despite its success and the opening of 11 other stores around
the world, I remain true to my calling: creation. My professional tools are 10%
inspiration, 30% creativity and 60% technique. The results are whimsical but there
is a lot of technical knowledge behind my success. It´s an art and a science.