Interview with Jordi Cruz
ANDREW HARPER STAFF (AHS): Use three words to describe your style of cooking.
JORDI CRUZ: My style of cooking can be described as creative, [ingredient-based] and [a place] where creativity and tradition are merged.
AHS: What is your favorite ingredient to cook with right now?
JC: I love seasonal ingredients, so any ingredient that [is ripe] to cook with it. I don’t have a special ingredient but prefer the best in its season.
AHS: What is the perfect summer meal?
JC: For summer, I always suggest fresh ingredients: vegetables, salads, seafood, fruits. If meat, then BBQ is the best for the summer season.
AHS: What is your favorite food city, outside of Barcelona?
JC: San Sebastián in northern Spain.
AHS: You are a judge on "MasterChef" and "MasterChef Junior," you have a book and are writing a second, and you run multiple kitchens – what would you cook for yourself when you finally have a day off?
JC: Normally something light. I don’t like cooking for myself at the end of the day but something simple and of good quality, like a good Spanish ham.
AHS: What does your perfect day in Barcelona look like?
At the moment, what I do is what I like the best: cooking.
JC: Having our restaurants full. This is a great day for me. I don’t have holidays or days off. At the moment, what I do is what I like the best: cooking.
AHS: You grew up in Manresa and have cooked in many Spanish kitchens. Have any other types of cuisines or regions influenced your food?
JC: A lot of regions and areas inspire me. Recently, we were cooking cuisine with influences from Japan, Mexican, Italian and French. Also memories of my childhood influence me.
AHS: Do you feel that staying at the ABaC Hotel enhances your experience at the restaurant?
JC: Of course, ABaC is a great gastronomic experience. The name comes from the Roman name Abacus (Bacchus) which has a lot of meanings. It was selected because it means 'table full of good grapes.' Our kitchen is open for all our guests. They pass it while we are working; they can see, smell and ask any question. We have a cellar with more than 1000 types of wine. We try to make a celebration on the table. It is a unique, complete, gourmet experience.
AHS: Have you ever had a meal that you would be willing to travel across the world to have one more time? What is that meal and where is it?
JC: I went to Jordan to try the original "Mutabal," an eggplant puree with tahini, as well as Rome to eat Burrata, pasta Amatriciana and Pecorino. [In Spain, I traveled] to Galicia to eat centolla crab and to San Sebastián “chuletón” meat.
AHS: Where is your dream vacation?
JC: I would love to visit Egypt or to Xi’an to visit the Terracotta Army.