Meet Culinary Superstar Twins Sergio and Javier Torres
Sample the sensory delights of Sergio and Javier Torres
The Torres brothers have been the hot culinary ticket for decades. Part of Catalan’s culinary revolution, spearheaded by Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli, the brothers opened their first restaurant inside Melia Barcelona Sky in 2008. Sergio and Javier Torres’ gastronomic adventures took them to Brazil, where they opened the Eñe restaurant in Sao Paulo in 2009. Their latest opening in Barcelona, Cocina Hermanos Torres, boasts two Michelin stars and a menu that brings together their globetrotting experiences. The brothers credit their grandmother Catalina with their success and have even located their creative laboratory, “Espacio Ilusión,” in her former home.
Aspire Lifestyles: Who has influenced your cooking style or philosophy?
Chef Hermanos Torres: Childhood has influenced a lot, we were lucky to have a grandmother who cooked very, very well and was passionate about broths, time cooking and the spoon, really that has influenced our cuisine in some way, the philosophy that we have is the philosophy of product and producer of season and beautiful, it has to be a beautiful kitchen.
AL: What do you want the world to know about the cuisine of your country and the cuisine of your restaurant?
Chef HT: I believe our cuisine is having a great moment around the world now. It’s happening at this time because, geographically, we have different products, a tremendous variety of great food—fish, vegetables, meats, legumes and more. Our foods are rich. We inherited a great gastronomic culture and we have obviously improved on it, and I believe that is why we are now experiencing a very strong moment worldwide. From the kitchen of our restaurant, I believe that it is a cuisine of product, producer, time, flavor, and above all, aesthetics, because it also has to be beautiful, very seasonal.
AL: What is the most important value you teach your kitchen team?
Chef HT: What we transmit a lot is enthusiasm, passion, rigor for doing things. To go a little further, our cooks and waiters have a vision and more knowledge than normal. They come to us to improve and we ask that they be good, humble people with a desire to learn, then we take care of the rest. Those are our pillars for a great team.
AL: As the COVID pandemic has forced the industry to change on so many levels – what was the most important detail or aspect of service / experience for you that you wanted to keep the same upon reopening? What were the main things you felt you needed to change / adapt?
Chef HT: Obviously what we have not changed is our philosophy, our way of being, how we are working. What we have changed and adapted to are the COVID security measures (more than 80!) we put into practice. We have internal security measures and those for the customers but we have done it in such a way that you do not see it. I think that is also important for people come to enjoy themselves knowing the security measures we have in place. We’ve done a great job there without changing the philosophy that we had from the beginning.
AL: What kind of meals were you making personally and for your family / friends during quarantine?
Chef HT: Good question, we have prepared everything, we have even cooked for our neighbors who had it a little more difficult and we have cooked a lot as a family, with the children, with the family in general. The kitchen has been the most important area and we really have not stopped cooking. The truth is we kept cooking and it has been a good time to enjoy with the family.
AL: As a Chef at a top restaurant, you likely always go at a very fast pace. Did you enjoy the “downtime” of quarantine and what did you do to fill your time?
Chef HT: It is a good question because we always go at a very fast level and we have very little time to spend with the family. So being with family was the most beautiful thing about quarantine. What has happened has been a disaster but we have enjoyed a lot of time with the family as we have never had it. We made great memories, we have cooked, played sports and indoor activities. We have put on costumes, we have done everything. The times we spent in quarantine have been magical and we remember them with a lot of affection since normally we don’t have that much time to spend with the family as we are always in the restaurant and working a lot.