The tastiest books

Joan Roca publishes Cuinar el Mediterrani, Carme Ruscalleda, La paella pel mànec, Maria Nicolau, the memoir Cremo!, Marc Ribas the official book of Cuines TV show and Lluc Cruselles Reserva’t per a les postres

Michelin stars
owned by Carme Ruscalleda in all her restaurants in Catalonia and Tokyo
published by the chef Maria Nicolau, popular on TV3

For Sant Jordi, m

ost of the outstanding chefs of the moment have published books, as have pastry chefs and chocolatiers, all of whom have become real stars. Among the books that have just come out on the market is the one written by the three-starred chef of El Celler de Can Roca, Joan Roca, with his friend, the also chef, Salvador Brugués. Cuinar el Mediterrani (Columna) is a tribute to Mediterranean cuisine and the colours (especially the colours, as he said on the day of the presentation) from Algeciras to Istanbul, with some very well-known recipes but obviously modified by the great master of cuisine, which has given its version of each, from the most sophisticated to the simplest (such as balik ekmek, the mackerel sandwich they make in Istanbul).

Another chef, Maria Nicolau, who recently published Cuina o barbàrie (Ara Llibres), which made her very famous, has releases a new volume: Cremo! (Column), which is already expected to be a bestseller. This book is a kind of memoir of this cook who preaches simple recipes. “The foundational pillars of my gastronomic spirit– my culinary mother tongue – were potatoes and tender beans, Swiss chard with chickpeas, piston soup with a little Avecrem, breaded meat and the recommendations my mother read in the Cuerpomente magazine. Little more”, she said

“Official“ chefs

The star chefs of Cuines, the TV show on TV3, Marc Ribas, Gessamí Caramés and Arnau París, have just published Cuines (Ara Llibres), the first official book of the TV3 programme. The book includes recipes, but also essential tricks and tips for everything you need in the kitchen and at the market. The book begins with the purchase of the products, gives tips for going to the market and buying the best fresh produce and organising a good pantry, and even a playlist of the right songs for the kitchen... and ends with tips for a good digestion.

Let’s not forget Carme Ruscalleda, the woman chef who has the most Michelin stars in the world, and who, put Sant Pol de Mar in the spotlight of all the gourmets in the world with Sant Pau (three Michelin stars, which she opened with her husband, Toni Balam). In her latest book, La paella pel mànec (Ara Llibres), Ruscalleda puts into practice the techniques and essential knowledge to cook well at home. Through the surprising, innovative and varied recipes for every occasion, she doesn’t forget the vegetarian options, starters, accompaniments and desserts. “Modern nutritionists keep telling us that cooking at home is taking care of your health, and that health is directly related to how we feel, how we move and how we eat. Let’s have fun in the kitchen and enjoy it with the ones you love the most!” says the chef, who currently seconds her son Raül Balam in the Moments restaurant of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, with two Michelin stars.

Another of the greats of Catalan cuisine is Barcelona’s Carles Gaig, born in the Horta neighbourhood and who is behind the stove at Petit Comitè, a restaurant on Passage de la Concepció in Barcelona. He has just published The best recipes of Carles Gaig (Columna), a recipe book of his best dishes, among which are the Gaig caneló with truffle cream, the cardinal macaroni and the fricandó, which are already classics of Catalan cuisine.

Ada Parellada, the chef and owner of Semproniana, and one of the most didactic cooks preaching about not wasting food, has also produced a new book: Conciliar i cuina, (Editorial Efadós), in which she recommends taking your time to cook a few good meals then freeze them in order to always have healthy meals at hand, stay and away from processed and unhealthy foods.

Romain Fornells, disciple of Alain Ducasse, proposes Salsa (Planeta Gastro), an indispensable book of sauces of all kinds by this French chef who has lived in Barcelona for many years (since 1996, when he arrived in the city to be second chef at the La Maison du Languedoc Roussillon restaurant). Currently, he owns several restaurants in the Catalan capital, including Caelis, and is the gastronomic director of Hostal de la Gavina in S’Agaró.

Don’t miss Grandes éxitos de Rafuel (Planeta), the last book by Rafuel (Rafael Antolín), a chef who doesn’t have a restaurant but who has become a real influencer after retirement, with more than half a million followers on social media. His latest book offers simple recipes for those who don’t have much time to cook but want to eat well.

The Basque chef Martín Berasategui is also a much-loved chef in Catalonia, owner of Lasarte, the three-star Michelin restaurant on C/ Mallorca next to Passeig de Gràcia, and Oria, on Passeig de Gràcia, which has a Michelin star. He has written Cocina para disfrutones (Grijalbo), with eighty recipes “to lick your fingers”, as he says.

Lluc Crusellas, the best chocolatier in the world, has published Reserva’t para a les postres (Ara Llibres), a manifesto in favour of the healthy sweet. This book teaches us to recognize good raw material, to value what we eat as well as some of his successful recipes. Winner of the World Chocolate Masters award in 2022, Crusellas tells us everything about chocolate and how to work with it at home.

Another pastry chef, Oriol Balaguer, considered one of the best master pastry chefs in Europe, famous for his spectacular and avant-garde Easter cakes, has published Oh la la chocolat (Planeta Gastro), dedicated, as the title says, to chocolate.

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