5 Game Changers of Modern Spanish Cuisine

When I began Acornseekers, my goal was to begin a line of world-class Ibericus meat products that were inspired by Spanish tradition and raised on American soil. But no matter how fresh, natural and responsibly cultivated a product may be, it is the final stage of the culinary journey — the preparation of the dish — that brings out the goodness within.

And so, I would like to pay homage to five game-changing chefs whom I respect and admire in their abilities to truly bring a dish to life, particularly an Ibericus meat dish. They come from both sides of the Atlantic, and know the ins and outs of creating culinary experiences that surprise and delight.

1. Luis Roger

Place of Study: Hofmann Culinary School

Current Position: Head Chef and Co-Founder of BCN Taste & Tradition in Houston, Texas

Luis Roger’s story is in many ways parallel to my own. We both traveled from Spain to Texas to bring a Spanish degree of culinary excellence to the American people. He is a champion of healthy food, and presents Spanish dishes that balance tradition with modernity.

2. Ilde Ferrer

Place of Study: French Culinary Institute

Current Position: Chef at KLIMA Restaurant and Bar in Miami, Florida

Chef Ilde Ferrer uses local ingredients to create Barcelona-inspired dishes at KLIMA Restaurant and Bar. Some of KLIMA’s current Ibericus meat dishes include Iberian pork ribs with Napa cabbage, apple and pimentón honey glaze, and Iberian pork shoulder loin with potato parmentier.

3. Joan Roca

Place of Study: Girona Culinary School

Current Position: Head Chef and Co-Founder of El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain

Joan opened El Celler de Can Roca with his brother Josep in 1986. Their youngest brother Jordi joined the kitchen in 1998. Fast forward to 2015, when the restaurant was named best in the world by Restaurant magazine (for the second time). He combines catalan tradition with avant-garde techniques to create truly one-of-a-kind dishes, such as calamari frozen by liquid nitrogen.

4. Ferran Adrià

Place of Study: No formal education

Current Position: Head of elBullifoundation (or El Bulli Foundation), an education project that spans multiple Spanish cities

Though the Michelin 3-star restaurant elBulli closed in 2011, the name was resurrected in 2014 as a creativity and education umbrella program called elBullifoundation. Adrià is known for taking a modern, scientific approach to his cooking, and he stands at the forefront of molecular gastronomy. He has taught his techniques, such as “culinary foam,” all over the world, including to Harvard undergraduates in 2010.

5. José Andrés

Place of Study: Trained under Ferran Adrià

Current Position: Co-Owner of multiple restaurants in Washington, DC, Las Vegas and beyond

In his profile as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People for 2012, Anthony Bourdain calls José Andrés an “advocate, promoter, entrepreneur, philanthropist [and] artist.” He creates dishes that are based in science and simplicity — much like his mentor Ferran Adrià — and helped expand the popularity of small plates in America.

It is accomplished folks like these which were just some of the many sources of inspiration when deciding to fly our ibericus pigs across the Atlantic, and introduce this unique product to the American people. They’ve done Spanish cuisine well, and we hope to do the same.

Note: These profiles are just a handful of Spanish cuisine chefs that I admire, and their inclusion in this list does not signify any sort of endorsement of Acornseekers or its products.

Sergio Marsal Colom President & CEO, Acornseekers

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