Michelin-starred Chef Joan BorrÀs Joins The Esentia Tours Team

Nov. 15, 2006 – November 15, 2006, Barcelona: Esentia Tours is pleased to announce its collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Joan Borràs of Restaurant Sant Salvador in Catalonia, Spain. Joan will be working closely with Esentia to create special menus and dishes for its guests that combine traditional Catalan food with more experimental contemporary Catalan dishes, such as those created by master chef Ferran Adrià of El Bulli. Joan will also be teaching some of Esentia’s unique in-house cooking classes and will act as host during some of Esentia’s gastronomic tours of the Empordà and La Garrotxa regions of Catalonia.

Joan’s culinary creations have garnered renown across Europe and beyond. Food was also one of Joan’s secret passions, but he never dreamed that he could cook for a living—which makes his rapid ascent to a renowned Michelin-starred chef all the more amazing. Joan was born just outside Barcelona, and dedicated the first years of his professional life to the textile industry. The story of how he came to be a chef is something out of the movies: one day, during a trip to the La Garrotxa region in northern Catalonia, Joan saw and fell in love with the Hostal de Sant Salvador, an old inn from the 15th century. He decided then and there to leave his loom in order to teach himself how to cook, so that he could open a small hotel and cook for the guests as one does for one’s friends. “At first,” he says, “we knew that we could only do simple things, but we were always conscious of the need to offer quality products.” Now, almost ten years later, the “simple things” have evolved into dishes of high artistry, the restaurant Joan opened at Sant Salvador is recognized as one of the best in the province of Girona, and Joan himself has been honored with a Michelin star in the 2006 edition of the prestigious gastronomic guide.

According to Joan, the secret to his success lies in the fact that he is a self-described “fanatic” of high-quality ingredients with an inherent ability to combine different tastes and textures that delight the palate. “This sensibility is not something that is learnt at school,” he says. “It is something that one has inside. I would say that if you combine it with good taste it is the key to success.”

Joan is strongly influenced by the style and flavors of local gastronomy, and his innate talent in the kitchen is complemented by the high quality of fresh local produce. “Sometimes we eat well even though the produce is not fantastic,” he says, “but with good produce it is almost impossible not to eat well.” Joan is highly committed to his culinary philosophy, which focuses on the transformation of traditional Catalan cuisine into a new cuisine especially created for the 21st-century palate. The combination of Joan’s artistry and his use of the highest-quality local ingredients guarantees that Esentia’s guests enjoy a truly unique culinary experience.

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If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Jess Shaefer or Helena Garriga, please call or email Jess at +1 646 536 7568 or jess@esentiatours.com, or Helena at +34 33 152 541 or helena@esentiatours.com.

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