Jaime SatianesExecutive chef
Jaime Satianes is currently the executive chef of the San Telmo Group. His past testifies to the solid work in the kitchen by this Asturian who has lived in Barcelona for more than a decade. He began his career in the hotel industry in London in 2001, and a year later moved to Nobu in Paris. He met Ferrán Adriá shortly afterwards and ended up working at El Bullí, and finally opened his own restaurant, Elrus, which won plaudits from critics and clients. Later he would put his personal project to one side in order to join the Tragaluz Group – a project that he would combine with his own catering company, Sensorama.
Q: How would you define the San Telmo Group?
A: I would describe it as a series of restaurants, each with a very clearly defined personality. None of them has any pretensions, but they all have very high-level cuisine, made with local products and prepared with a lot of care. The group’s distinguishing feature is that each restaurant could operate independently without being related to any other.
Q: What do you think you have contributed to the San Telmo Group?
A: The fact that there’s an executive chef in a group always provides the methodology in its various kitchens, since my job is to prepare the technical procedures and processes. In addition, my role right now is also as a go-between between the owners and the intermediaries, and to make communication smooth – something that we have done successfully in the San Telmo Group.
Q: Your work as an executive chef means you have a direct relationship with Isidro, the creator of the group. How do you complement each other?
A: Isidro and I make a good partnership. He has a more general view, from a more hostelry-based perspective, while I deal with issues more related to the kitchen and I act as a mediator with the whole team. We’re two people from the same generation, although with complementary visions, whose work is combined based on a lot of briefings, and sharing ideas.
Q: Tell us which are the group’s 5 best sellers.
A: At El Canalla, the hunks of marinated tuna with quinoa, crudités and Figueras onion; at Tantarantana the mussels with coconut, chilli and coriander; at Palosanto the cod esqueixada; in the San Telmo Group and at Big Kokka or Kokka, the aubergine with miso.
Q: And for those with a sweet tooth, which dessert is your favourite?
A: I think the dessert that is the hallmark of the house is the muscovado sponge with cinnamon ice cream and the gelée d’amaretto.
Q: When you’re not working, what restaurants can we find you in?
A: I love to eat rice overlooking the sea at the Pez Vela (Passeig del Mare Nostrum 19-21), La Mundana (C/Vallespir, 93), the Capet (C/Benet Mercadé, 21-23) and the Kak Koy (C/Ripoll, 16).
Q: Not only do you like to try restaurants, but also gastronomy from all over the world. You travel often and you travel far. What does each trip give you?
A: Since cooking is my profession and passion, gastronomy is something that is very important every time I travel. I like food all over the world, but I must admit that I have a weakness for Asia. I think all of south-east Asia is wonderful for eating, and especially Malaysia because of its fusion, which comes from sources as diverse as India, the Arab world, Asia in general and the Malay touch itself.