Students of the Master in Culinary Arts and Kitchen Management of EUHT StPOL have participated in a double experimental workshop on wines, vinegars and oils and their multiple applications in the kitchen by CaviarOli and Cellers Avgvstvs Forum.
Santi Ramon is one of the founders of CaviarOli, a family company that creates oil pearls that imitate the appearance and texture of caviar. That is where his name comes from: caviar + oil (“oli” in Catalan). “Ferran Adrià was our first customer,” says Ramon. Before founding the company as such, his family – made up of engineers and architects – developed a machine that allowed them to “encapsulate” the oil, spherify it. Ramon explains that the product came into the hands of chef Ferran Adrià coinciding with the last season of El Bulli restaurant and this was the starting point of the company’s growth. “We were clear that we did not want to sell the machines that allowed us to encapsulate the oil, we wanted to sell the oil pearls,” he says.
Tastes, colours and flavours
Pearls of arbequina oil, chilli pepper, basil, sesame, hazelnut, garlic, wasabi … Vinegar pearls and pearls with wine base to be used in the kitchen to decorate, to separate flavours or to dress with oil without falling on certain dishes as in the “finger food”. “What we are looking for with this masterclass is to inspire you,” said Santi Ramon. And in fact, this is how the students of the Master in Culinary Arts and Kitchen Management of EUHT StPOL came out: inspired and with new ideas to apply oil in the kitchen.
“Vinegar is not the little brother of wine”
Albert Roca is the commercial director of Cellers Avgvstvs Forvm, integrated in the DO Penedès and recognized worldwide for its vinegars. “Being a vinagrero is not a discredit”; with this sentence began the experimental workshop of Albert Roca with the students of the Master in Culinary Arts and Kitchen Management. Currently their vinegars are the flagship of Cellers Avgvstvs Forvm. “We are more known for our vinegars than for the wine we produce,” he says. And the figures confirm it: they produce annually 120,000 bottles of wine and 400,000 bottles of monovarietal vinegar, which they sell to 38 countries.
Stir, smell, taste
The session with Albert Roca also had an experimental part in which the students made an “express course of expert tasters”, according to Roca. A wine tasting of Cellers Avgvstvs Forvm with indications of the steps to follow – stir, smell, taste -; followed by a tasting of vinegars and a tasting of tapas created by Jordi Guillem, chef in Lo Mam Restaurant of Le Méridien Ra (El Vendrell, Tarragona).
His advice for the students of the Master in Culinary Arts and Kitchen Management of EUHT StPOL: “always think as consumers and keep innovation in mind, which has to be constant; the market asks for it”.