After this post, I am going to make it my mission to keep the blog Adrià free for a while. But for now, let’s talk about Oriol Balaguer. Born to a chocolatier father and graduating to the famed kitchens of El Bulli before being named (at the tender young age of 23) Best Artisan Confectioner in Spain. My 4-year-old daughter and I are here today with a view to getting our hands on the chocolate cake in eight chocolate textures.
The store is elegant, the thick tinted glass, the brushed aluminum frames- it’s more Balenciaga then Confectioner. And that is the point, as we are about to pay €35 for a very petite, very shiny cake. There are other things besides cakes. Some leavened pastries and lots of chocolate. Most of the chocolate shaped like a small cocoa pod, roughly the length of a car key. It’s the largest bon-bon that I have come across in a while, it makes Paul A Young chocolates seem incy wincy in comparison. The sheen and finish on them is fantastical, making me think of either a plastic rendition of a chocolate or a chocolate that has come straight off the production line (ah yes, once upon a time I was fortunate enough to work for a chocolate factory). All that, I imagine, is part of the El Bulli legacy, using industrial techniques to enhance and improve a food rather than to make something cheaper look and taste more enticing. (Hello MRM!)
This Oriol Balaguer shop in Sarrià – Sant Gervasi is one of 3 in Barcelona, 6 worldwide with distributors all over the world. As for the cake in 8 textures, I wish it came with a key, the way a new iPod would, which would tell me where I could locate all those textures and what they were. Meanwhile, my 4-year-old who is our resident Chloé Doutre-Roussel pronounced it a very good chocolate cake and enquired immediately as to when the next tasting might be?
Pl. de Sant Gregori Taumaturg, 2
Further Reading: ‘Not for the masses – Oriol Balaguer’ on The Brander