NEW VIDEO: Paolo Casagrande, Restaurante Lasarte

The  Staff Canteen

Paolo Casagrande is the chef de cuisine at Restaurante Lasarte in Barcelona. 

Paolo, who describes himself as "an Italian chef, a cooking enthusiast" left his home country when he was just 20 years old, travelling around Europe learning his trade. 

He worked in Paris under trailblazing chef Alain Solivérès, who convinced him to move to Spain, the land of new and avant-garde cuisine, and to work for Martín Berasategui. 

Squid Tartare with liquid egg yolk%2C onion and kaffir consommé   small 2
Squid Tartare with liquid egg yolk,
onion and kaffir consommé

 

"There was a lot of talk about El Bulli, Martín Berasategui and all these chefs," he said, and when he visited, he "fell in love" with the Basque country. 

The man he calls his chef and mentor, he explained, "is not just my boss but my big brother and my great friend." 

"He is a great chef," he said. "He is a person who will give you everything to make you feel comfortable,that will allow you to learn from him and will also allow you to grow with him." 

More than just a name above the door 

The chef describes success as "enjoying what we do everyday and growing together, as a person and as a team." 

For him, the restaurant's successes are bigger than them and bigger than the restaurant: "It is due to the team around us. They are the ones that give their lives and souls to make this restaurant better everyday." 

What makes a three-Michelin star plate

"Economic ingredients, brilliantly executed" are what constitute a great plate of food, according to the chef. 

The food at Restaurante Lasarte is an ode to the Mediterrenean palate, focused on using the best of the region's produce and wasting as little of it as possible.

"I feel very comfortable and I identify myself with Mediterrenean cuisine; it is simple, elegant and fresh. I really like it." 

Pichón al carbón con espárragos blancos%2C salsa especiada y grano bianco perla  small
Charcoal chicken with white asparagus,
espelette sauce and white pearl barley

Menus are changed according to the seasons and rarely at any other time. 

One of the restaurant's most emblematic dishes is called The Jalapeno, and consists of a Mexican jalapeno foam served with a cucumber mayonnaise, natural razor-shell, osmosed cucumber, mussel stock and liquorice sorbet. 

"It seems very simple at first, and must be eaten from bottom to top to mix all the flavours, which creates theatre." 

On the importance of unifying your team

 

"Cuisine itself is evolving every year, every day. Years create maturity," The chef explained.

In order to create a solid team up to that challenge, he said, you must find "a group of people fighting together towards the same goal: to give enjoyment and an unforgettable experience." 

 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 26th November 2019

NEW VIDEO: Paolo Casagrande, Restaurante Lasarte