The O Interview: Carme Ruscalleda, Michelin starred chef of the Mandarin Oriental

Ovation Spain DMC had the pleasure to enter the kitchen of Carme Ruscalleda, the Michelin starred chef of the Mandarin Oriental’s restaurant, Moments, in Barcelona.

 

It makes us proud to announce that she is the world’s first woman being awarded with 7 Michelin stars.

 

Carme was born in the Catalonian village of Sant Pol de Mar where she opened her first restaurant of local cuisine together with her husband. Later on, in 2004, she expanded her horizons by opening a second restaurant in Tokyo before joining the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona.

 

 

Her cuisine is known to be modern and creative. We can’t wait to know more about Carme!

 

Describe yourself in three words

Fighter, optimistic and nonconformist.

 

How you can define the passion you have for your profession?

Professional passion gives me strength, inspires me and makes me happy.

 

As one of the top chefs in the world, what do you find most challenging about the MICE industry?

The great challenge is to achieve the pursued quality.

 

What is the best thing about working for Mandarin Oriental?

The best thing is the inspiration, the empathy and the quality of a brand that is so powerful and appreciated around the world.

 

What are the best attributes of Spain?

The cultural diversity that contains the peninsula.

 

What is your favourite destination in Spain and Why?

Every spot in Spain has an interesting and particular attraction. Right now, I have a pending trip to Extremadura.

 

Did you have any mentors or people who deeply influenced your career?

My parents have influenced me a lot, they have instilled the value of teamwork and respect for matters.

 

Proudest moment in your career to date?

Every moment counts! The beginnings are vital to bet on the quality to be able to feel later the pride of the professional path covered.

 

What is a must have in every kitchen?

Order, ideas, hygiene, motivation, good products, great professionals and good equipment.

 

Favourite book?

One of my favourites: “Negra Memòria” by Mireia Vancells.

 

If you were not a chef what would you be?

I wanted to pursue a career in art that finally could not be. However, life has given me a profession in which I can express my artistic passion.

 

Professional that you admire and why?

Guatemalan activist Rigoberta Menchú, for her struggle and social work, respect and rights of people.

 

Favourite band or artist?

I really like poetry music, and music from Joaquin Sabina.

 

What is the best professional advice you can give to the young generation?

Fall in love with the profession that you have freely chosen, work with respect, enthusiasm and honesty, and do not stop investigating, studying and learning every day.

 

Favourite destinations?

As I have born and lived in front of the Mediterranean, I enjoy destinations with mountains, like Berguedà and Cadí Moixeró because they give me a lot of energy.

 

Thank you for your time Carme! We look forward to get inspired by the magic of your new thematic menu Opera at the Mandarin Oriental!

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