Born in Madrid in 1969, Paco Roncero is an avant-garde chef whose technical mastery and love of olive oil has won him two Michelin Stars and three Repsol Suns as well as the 2006 national gastronomy award. In Ibiza, his tapas selection at Hotel Hard Rock’s Estado Puro competes with Sublimotion, the world’s most expensive restaurant.
As a runner: How do we escape in Spain a third round of general elections?
I‘m a long-distance runner, so slowly but at a steady pace with your pulse under control and the consistency to add a little common sense.
How far can a runner go on rice, chicken and tuna?
They‘re sure to reach the finishing line, but they could also do a lap to break the monotony; that much-needed spark that helps to break routine.
How much do you have to stop eating to get to Men’s Health?
It’s a sacrifice; not to stop eating but rather eating what’s right and working out a lot.
Why a menu for €1,650 and not recipes for getting out of the crisis?
Why exclude anything? They are both compatible and there’s a public for them. Of course, in the right measure, we do hundreds of inexpensive recipes as opposed to a Sublimotion that’s for 12 people.
Does virtual reality help to lose weight?
Losing weight is simply burning more calories than you take in.
So much of a fan as to get expelled on TV. Have you ever really expelled anyone from a kitchen?
No, and much less whilst serving. I have the great good luck to possess a really marvellous team.
What diet to follow to reach 112 kilos?
More than a diet, really not taking care of oneself. In my case, it was to stop thinking about me and get up every day with my mind on the job and the customers.
How much do the Michelin Stars shine? Can they dazzle the chef?
They really shine, it’s an honour. If we were counting the calories, we’d be fat. They can dazzle you and that’s why you have got to keep your feet on the ground and work every day to make the main goal keeping our customers happy. If the awards arrive afterwards, so much the better.
Do you think the culinary bubble is going to explode?
I don’t think there is a bubble as such. But there is a great deal of media attention that will of course decrease, but we will keep working in our restaurants.
How many chefs are making fun of us?
I’d say none.
What is your freakiest creation?
Olive oil paella in which the grains of rice are grains of olive oil.
How the devil did you come up with that?
Working with extra virgin olive oil as the main ingredient in dishes and not only as a seasoning.
What three foodstuffs would you take to a desert island, and why?
Extra virgin olive oil, salt and I’ll look for the third one there…
Why is olive oil so valuable and the harvester so cheap?
It’s a unique product for the kitchen.
As a chef to monarchy, what is it like to eat like a king?
Very tasty, healthy food based on excellent raw ingredients.
Give me an original recipe that you can make in the time it takes to read this interview.
Toast on which you spread a good piece of tomato, add a nice anchovy to it, a few drops of Cavernet Sauvignon vinegar, some basil leaves, black olive tapenade and a good splash of extra virgin olive oil. I don’t know if it’s original, but it’s delicious.