In Galicia the wave of young exponents of groundbreaking gastronomy continues unabated. It's great to see how, in a region so far away from the Spain’s leading culinary focal points (Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country), so much talent and creativity is emerging from local kitchens.
The best proof can be found in the Grupo Nove chefs’ group, consisting of many professionals demonstrating their passion for cooking in this northwestern region of Spain. One of the members of Grupo Nove is Javier Olleros, owner and head chef at El Culler de Pau restaurant in the town of O’Grove (in the province of Pontevedra), in the Rías Baixas region.
The restaurant architecture conveys a fair amount of information about the chef's philosophy and inspiration, with large windows overlooking the Ría de Arousa inlet, giving the dining area a light and airy atmosphere. The interior design makes you think about the intimate relationship between Javier Olleros and his immediate surroundings, and consequently with the local food, weather and natural environment.
Javier practices a cuisine that relies on a major local product: Galicia is a mine of top quality fish, superb meat, sumptuous cheeses and fantastically fresh vegetables. The menu is packed with seafood flavors (octopus, sea bass, bream, brown crab, sea urchins, hand-caught squid), authentic Galician cheese like San Simón and Cebreiro, plus Galician beef.
Armed with this amazing array of fresh food, the chef at El Culler de Pau creates apparently simple dishes with hidden complexity, with genuine flavors and strong connections with the local area. Locally-inspired food that’s approachable, fresh, honest and seasonal. A show to be enjoyed at your table as you contemplate unique views over the famous Ría de Arousa inlet, the connection between the human character and legendary ocean in this part of Galicia.
Javier Olleros’ professional vocation runs in the family: his parents worked incredibly hard running their successful hotel and restaurant in O’Grove, famous for the quality of its seafood dishes. Javier studied at the Santiago de Compostela Hotel and Catering School and worked in the family business; his vacations were spent working in restaurants alongside top names in modern Spanish cuisine: Martín Berasategui, Sergi Arola, Toñi Vicente and Pepe Solla. Today he defends his own personal version of gourmet food in his own place, in his home town, in El Culler de Pau.