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Famous Chef to bring lifelong love of Catalan cuisine to Phuket's Banyan Tree

Francesc Rovira from the Michelin-starred “La Fonda Xesc” restaurant in the Catalan Pyrenees in Spain, is heading to the island this month to share his passion for Catalan cuisine.


By Mark Knowles

Wednesday 15 November 2017, 03:46PM


Chef Francesc’s visit is the latest in a string of guest chefs from some of the top restaurants in the world that Banyan Tree Phuket has invited to showcase their unique cuisines.

The Phuket News recently spoke with Chef Francesc before his arrival to host his first dinner at Tre Restaurant at Banyan tree tomorrow evening (Nov 16).

 

How would you describe the essence of Catalan cuisine?

It is the cuisine of the territory of Catalan and has come to us down through our ancestors for many generations. We mainly cook and eat products from our local environment, following their seasonality and typically cooking them with a low heat.

 

What are some  ingredients that you love to use in your Catalan cuisine?

Catalan cuisine is rich with a variety of dishes and products. I like to cook with herbs, meats, vegetables, fish and fruit… I like to look for contrasts in the kitchen, in the flavours. Like sweet-salty, bitter-acid and bittersweet… this in one of the characteristics of Catalan cuisine.

 

How would you compare your style of Catalan cooking to the traditional food you ate when you were growing up?

I sincerely believe that my current kitchen is an evolution of my childhood memories, those flavours and dishes that I knew as a child are still present in my kitchen, Now, we create more refined dishes, with more order, in a subtle and delicate way. The traditions of Catalan cuisine form a base which allows us to refine, elaborate and evolve with new concepts and techniques.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

 

What food do you dream about when you’re away from home for a long time?

Escudella! It is a very typical dish of the mountainous regions of Catalan, especially in the winter. It’s prepared with salted pork meat (the bones of the spine), bacon, tail, pig’s ears. It can also be made prepared with other meats, such as chicken, perhaps a piece of lamb, a bit of sagi (pork fat balls coated in flour) or beef bones.

Next you add dried beans, dried corn, potato, turnip, parsnip and vegetables like leeks, celery and cabbage – then you put it all in a pot with water and let it cook very slowly over many hours, or even days. Once cooked, you can make soup from the broth and add pasta or rice or noodles then pile the meat and vegetables on top.

 

Chef Francesc at Banyan Tree Phuket:

Chef Francesc will be at Banyan Tree’s Tre Restaurant from Nov 16 to 20. He will be preparing a three-course meal with up to nine menu choices. The dinner will cost B3,500 per person for food only and B4,500 with fine beverage pairings.

On Nov 19, at Banyan Tree’s The Watercourt Restaurant, Michelin-starred Chef Francesc will be giving an exclusive demonstration and performance for diners at Sunday brunch.

With an optional free-flow of fine sparkling beverages, the cost of the brunch starts from B2,800 per person for food only; B3,400 with free-flow standard selected beverages and B4,000 with premium selected beverages.

Advanced booking is recommended. For more information and bookings email: fb-phuket@banyantree.com or call +66 76 372 400 on extension 5463.

 

 

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