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Haute Cuisine Squared

Sergio and Javier Torres



 

Two are better than one. That could well be the theory behind the initiatives taken by twin brothers Javier and Sergio Torres, two representatives of the Spanish culinary avant-garde. Born in Barcelona in 1970, they decided on their vocation at the same time and trained together at the Arnadi Cookery School (directed by Mey Hofmann ) in Barcelona, after which they went their separate ways. For years, they worked at a distance but keeping in close contact at all times in the certainty that they would eventually join forces.

In the case of Sergio Torres, his academic training was complemented by stays at some of the great restaurants such as Akelare under Pedro Subijana in San Sebastían, Neichel and Reno in Barcelona and France, Le Jardin des Sens in Paris, and with culinary masters such as Alain Ducasse, amongst others. Some time ago the two brothers were partners in El Rodat, a hotel and restaurant on the east coast of Spain, close to the seaside town of Jávea (Valencian Community). Their goal is clear – to bring together nature and gastronomy, showing total respect for their ingredients, many of which are sourced locally, from small, well-trusted producers.

Sergio Torres is fascinated by innovation and the link between cuisine and science. In a research project shared with Javier Andrés (La Sucursal restaurant in Valencia) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia he has devised the Gastrovac, a small appliance similar to a pressure cooker, with an oxygen-free, low-pressure atmosphere inside. The Gastrovac allows foods to be cooked at lower-than-usual temperatures, protecting their textures, nutrients and color.

The Torres brothers have also worked on another line of research which they call "sensitive crystallization". Though it may sound outlandish, their aim is to measure the “aura” of foods, that is, their biological energy which determines how they behave when cooked using different techniques.

Javier Torres, the other half of this duo of gastronomic wizards, made a name for himself in Spain as chef de cuisine at Can Fabes the three-Michelin-star establishment created by Santi Santamaría. He always speaks of Santamaría as his mentor and maestro, alongside Rochat with whom he worked for a time at his restaurant in Lausanne in Switzerland.

In 2006, the brothers started turning their attention to Brazil. On their visits there, they had been very impressed by the landscapes, the people and the enormous variety of products. Two highly successful projects were born. First, their book Brasiladois, a recipe book with influences and blends between Spanish and Brazilian cuisine and, second, their restaurant Eñe in Sao Paulo, an upmarket establishment focusing on the Spanish culinary avant-garde and its products.

But there is still more. In August 2008, the Torres brothers opened up Doscielos at the Meliá ME Barcelona hotel, in a skyscraper where they not only offer their latest creations, but also they also boast a sky-level herb garden on the 30th floor.

Both Sergio and Javier acknowledge that their vocation came to them at an early age, as young adolescents, partly because of the influence of their grandmother Catalina, who taught them a lot about products and Catalan cuisine. In tribute to her, they decided to restore her former home, close to the Parque Güell in Barcelona, where they have set up their Taller Ilusión, for consultancy projects and gastronomic events.

Chefs Sergio and Javier Torres brought their culinary concept to the Spanish capital with the opening of the new Dos Cielos Madrid in 2017.

Books
  • De la tierra al cielo (Planeta, 2013)
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