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