Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Climbing The Mountains

I want to share with you the CVs of two very exceptional people in the world of gastronomy.

Francisco Morales and Rut Cotroneo
Francisco "Paco" Morales - Head Chef
Rut Cotroneo - Maître D' & Sommelier
1981Born in Córdoba to a restaurant family.1976Born in Madrid.
1995Aged 14, cooks in his family restaurant while studying at catering college.1996An economics student, takes part-time bar job in Miraflores and discovers wines.
2000Takes a two-month stage at the Restaurante Guggenheim in Bilbao.1998Joins Spanish Union of Tasters; takes sommelier course at Madrid Chamber of Commerce.
2001Chef de Partie for starters at the Guggenheim.2000Assistant Sommelier at El Chaflán in Madrid.
2002Reurns to work at the family restaurant.
2003Sommelier at ElBulliHotel, Sanlúcar la Mayor.
2002Chef de Partie of fish section at Mugaritz.2005Sommelier at The Fat Duck, Bray.
2004Six months as Chef de Partie of the warm starters section at El Bulli.
2005National Gastronomy Award from Spanish Academy of Gastronomy.
2006Head Chef, R&D and global emissary of Mugaritz.2006Sommelier at Mugaritz.
2007Head Chef of Senzone at Hospes Hotel Madrid.
2007Maître D' & Sommelier of Senzone, Madrid.
2007Named "Best Chef of the 21st Century" by Cocinero Gastronómico.2007Completely re-designs the drinks and spirits menus and wine list at Senzone.
2007Senzone named "Restaurant Revelation of Year".2007Senzone named "Restaurant Revelation of Year".
2009Named "Chef of the Year" at Madrid Fusión.
2007Named "Sommelier of the Year" at Madrid Fusión.
27 March 2009 - They open Restaurante Ferrero by Francisco Morales and Rut Cotroneo.

I think you'll agree that CVs don't get much better and this young couple have every chance of making it to the very highest levels of world gastronomy. But why am I telling you about them in such detail?

Because last Friday lunchtime I set off on a seven-hour journey down to València and then inland and south, high into the mountains at the edge of the Sierra de Mariola National Park. At 9.30pm I took my seat in the restaurant at Hotel Ferrero and began a three-hour feast on Paco's Menú Innovación, sipping paired drinks selected for me by Rut Cotroneo. And on Saturday morning I returned to the hotel with my knife roll under my arm and began a two-day trial stage in Paco's kitchen. I'll write about those amazing experiences soon, because I'm a bit busy right now. I'm back in Barcelona packing my possessions and making preparations for relocation. On Tuesday 5th May I'll be back in Bocairent, ready to begin a three-month stage at Restaurante Ferrero. Another huge step up the mountains of my career.

I'd like to offer a massive thanks to John Sconzo of Docsconz - The Blog and eGullet Forums, without whom this opportunity would never have come my way. It was reading John's amazing posts on Francisco Morales and Rut Cotroneo that drew them to my attention and persuaded me that Ferrero is where I want to be during the next phase of my training as a chef. My experience at the Guggenheim last summer had a profound and lasting impact on my view of great food. When I read how that same experience eight years earlier had an identical effect on Paco Morales, I knew this was meant to be.


Douglas Blyde said...

Best of luck!

The Boston Foodie said...

Congratulations! It was well worth the wait, it seems. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Helen said...

Wow! Those are some seriously impressive CV's! One day you will post yours on the blog? Good luck with your new adventure. I am sure it will be a success.

Trig said...

Douglas, William, Helen - thanks guys. It will be a challenge, but one I'm really looking forward to.
PS: my CV has always been on the blog and I update it regularly. There's a link to it at the bottom of my About Me page.

Alan said...

Well done mate, looking forward to reading all about it.


Angry Brit said...

Oh, good luck! I'm so excited for you! We're all looking forward to hearing about this next stage of your journey.

the oaks said...

um..wonder what you're cooking up now.

rlander said...

Good luck mate. sounds like a great gig. Your Barcelona restaurant guide is your legacy in the city. will be down there one day


richard said...

Hey Trig
Congrats and best of luck for the new job - looks like a lot of fun! I never made it out to eat your food in Barca, so will be trying for Valencia (though the new impending mini-leader may put the dampeners on that idea).
I look forward to reading future bloggers talking about how excited they are to be going to cook in Aidan Brooks' restaurant!


Steve said...

Congrats Trig! I never got to try your food in Barcelona either -- despite living here! -- but I've enjoyed reading about your experiences. I hope to fix that next time I visit Valencia. Good luck and keep the updates coming.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Well done!! Glad you're staying in Spain. Thought you'd be fleeing the country.

Brian Campbell said...

just stumbled on your blog, well done on the stage,

Trig said...

Alan, Angry Brit - Cheers guys, as you can imagine I'm very excited.

The Oaks - I'd refer you to the restaurant's menu but they haven't put it up on the website yet. Having tried the Innovation menu myself I can assure you it's top notch!

The Richards (Lander & Leader) - Indeed I'll be very sad to say goodbye to this amazing city, but there's a new challenge on the horizon and I'm grabbing it by the horns!

Steve - Hopefully I'll see you at Ferrero at some point in the future, they're keen and more than happy for people with a genuine interest to come and see the kitchen.

Amanda - Thanks! You can rest assured I'm not going anywhere just yet, Spain's treated me well thus far so I'm not jumping ship just yet.

Brian - Thanks and a very warm welcome.

A Girl Has To Eat said...

Wow! Cant wait to hear about your stage! It will be an awesome experience.

eatlikeagirl.com said...

Wow! Such exciting news. Very impressive, indeed. Congratulations and looking forward to reading all about it.


Paalo said...

Congratulations and all the best

Su-Lin said...

Best of luck! What a fantastic place to stage (can i use that as a verb?)!

Trig said...

Girl - from reading your blog I'd say you were having more awesome experiences than me right now.

Niamh, Haalo, Su-Lin - thanks. I'm really enjoying it so far. Yes, Su-Lin, stage can be a verb as well as a noun, but still pronounced as in French of course.

To everyone - I'd love to see you out here to sample our Valencian mountain food sometime this year. Just contact me and I'll arrange the logistics.

Jeanne said...

I have been doing a (long overdue) clean-out of my e-mail inbox this morning and came across an e-mail from a colleague who had e-mailed a couple of months ago to say that he was on holiday in Valencia and having one of the best meals of his life - prepared by (you guessed) Francisco Morales! I thought i recognised the name and I was right - I'd read it on your blog :) Although I'm completely swamped in house purchase/renovation hell now, I was really hoping to make it out to Valencia later this year - I'll keep you posted...

Trig said...

Thanks Jeanne - that's really nice to hear. It would be great to see you here later in the year. If you can't make it before, then Thursday 19th November will hopefully be a very special day. We're about an hour's drive from the city of València up here in Bocairent, but I could arrange local accommodation very easily if you let me know in advance.

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