Masterchef S01 ep:1 Sergi Arola, Arola Restaurant, [Madrid]
Interview with Sergi Arola
15 years ago I was watching the filming of a video clip of one very famous Spanish singer and guitarist Raymundo Madoris . He played Jimmy Hendricks with a Spanish guitar! I thought 'he is touched by God for playing guitar'. When I realized I could never arrive to the level of playing as Raymundo, I changed from a career in music to cuisine and I found in cuisine the same fight, the same passion and the same capacity of composing as in music.
KM: What does La Broche mean?
It is roasting over charcoal
KM: Oh yes,
Slowly, with a skewer and this skewer is called La Broche.
And before the war my grandfather visited La Pyramid, Maxims, all the big
restaurants of Paris in the golden age of Paris - he likes it very very much. And
he told me a lot of stories about these restaurants…
KM: When you were a child?
When I was a child, yes, I lived with him.
When I was a child I didn't like to eat nothing. I cooked for my grandfather but I
cooked to survive. At the first moment I cooked very basic things. The basic
things, very light but after I began to introduce more ingredients, more unusual
I play guitar in a pop band, I write my songs, and my lyrics. Approximately 15
years ago friends of mine was filming a video clip of one very famous Spanish
singer and the guitarist was Raymundo Madoris . He is one of the top
Flamingo guitarists in Spain, and I saw Raymundo playing guitar – Wonderful -
he played Jimmy Hendricks with a Spanish guitar! I thought o.k, he is touched
by God for playing guitar. When I realized I could never arrive to the level of
playing as Raymundo, I changed from music for the cuisine and I found in
cuisine the same fight, the same passion and the same capacity of composing
as in the music. For me this is magic, because I could never imagine to be a
chef, to have a restaurant, and to have 2 Michelin star in three years.
KM: How do you explain these chefs that are coming from Spain like Ferran
I worked with Ferran for three years
KM: Oh so you worked with him?
Yeah, Ferran is one of my best friends. Ferran is for the cuisine as important
as Escoffier, as Paul Bocuse, as Michel Guerard
He has revolutionized the techniques of the modern cuisine.
KM: What is the concept of Haute Cuisine in Spain?
We have two very, very basic schools in Catalonian nowadays. We have more
classic, which is with Anna Santa Maria, bravo and one more fashionable,
Avant-garde, more heavy, more experimental.
And me I try to find middle ground, I like very much product, I respect my
traditions, I respect my roof but at the same time I like to use all the
The difference between the casseroles of the north of Spain, the way of
cooking fish in the Basque country or Catalonia. In Catalonia it is grilled. The
Spanish cuisine is not a cuisine of sauces.
KM: How do you compose a dish?
First I go to the market, I see what the people buy what the people eat.
Second I have three guys only for making new, and lastly the most important is
for me making my feelings. For me it is very important that the dish looks very
round, very simple, very clean but at the same time it must be very, very
difficult to prepare before. We have a very long maison plus, a very long
preparation but at the same time everything is done at the last moment.
KM: To keep the flavour.
The sauce is at the last moment, the fish is grilled at the last moment.
KM: Where did you learn, obviously you mentioned Ferran Adria, but before
I met Pierre Gagnaire in 1981
KM: When he was in St. Etienne?
When he was in St. Etienne, in the old restaurant. It was a wonder, wonderful
experience. I worked with a Belgian chef in Barcelona - very classical. After
that I went to a restaurant called La Ram - a very small restaurant - I worked
with the son of the owner of the restaurant and we experimented a lot.
Reading the books of Roberto la Fond which is a collection of books on the
most important French Chefs.
I remember the book of Mosimann, the book of Troisgros, the book of
Robuchon. And one day I discovered the book of Gagnaire - I fall in love with
Gagnaire’s cuisine. It was like music, its passion is just like Jazz. My friend
and I decide to go to St. Etienne to taste the cuisine of Pierre Gagnaire. For
me it was an experience - the timing, the composition of the menu, everything
was absolutely, absolutely wonderful.
Ferran Adria’s cuisine was too much intellectual, too much sensitive. Now I
think what I cook is the equilibrium between the two. It is good to have the
passion and the feeling of Pierre Gagnaire but at the same time you must work
with the scientific
Reasons of Ferran Adria or Michel Roux.
For me the cuisine, creative cuisine is like writing. Yes feelings are very
important but the feeling without the discipline
KM : Forget it
Because for example, I change the main menu card six times a year, but I
change the menu every month. Every month 7 new dishes, every month, every
month, every month. Because if not…
KM: you get bored yourself.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE:Sergi Arola, Arola Restaurant, [Madrid]