Carme Ruscalleda was born in Serra, near Catalonia, Spain in 1952 to a working-class farming family. Little did she know when she first began cooking as a young girl that she’d go on to become one of the highest-rated female chefs in the world. Part of what makes Ruscalleda’s journey so unique among the world’s leading chefs is her complete lack of formal training. At school, she studied commerce and Charcuterie techniques, before marrying a grocer named Toni Blam in 1975. In 1988, the couple took over a small family business, which they were able to sculpt into a restaurant called Sant Pau in Ruscalleda’s hometown. By 1991, the couple’s venture earned its first Michelin star as a result of hard work and determination; it obtained 3-star status in 2006. Ruscalleda’s cooking style is known for her incorporation of Catalan delicacies into each of her dishes. With an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients, she’s developed a world-renown reputation based largely on her dedication to perfectionism and loyalty to culinary principles. But her legacy didn’t end in her hometown, as she’s also opened several other restaurants throughout her career. In 2004, she met a Japanese businessman named Yuji Shimoyama who offered to help open a Sant Pau location in Tokyo. The venue would go on to earn 2 Michelin stars and offer Ruscalleda an interesting chance to explore blending the best of Japanese and Mediterranean cooking styles. Looking back on the opening of the Tokyo location, Ruscalleda once remarked, “Without a doubt, it is one of the most interesting things that has happened to me in my life! I had admired Japanese cuisine before starting to work with them, but now, I admire it even more after 16 years working together; I have learned so much and their Japanese cuisine philosophy has become ingrained in my mind. Since my experience in Japan, my cooking has become even better and more interesting!” She also inaugurated the Moments Restaurant in Barcelona, which has been awarded 2 stars as well. Ruscalleda was the first female chef in history to earn 7 Michelin stars and remains among the top 100 chefs in Spain. The master chef has also gone on to share her craft with readers around the world in form of several cookbooks. Available in English, Spanish, and Catalan, Ruscalleda’s books offer delicious recipes designed to be simple enough for cooks around the world to incorporate into their daily lives. Among her most famous books are Cuinar per ser feliç (Cooking to be happy) and Carme Ruscalleda's Mediterranean Cuisine. While the chef herself does not appear to endorse any particular cookware brands, there are several that are sure to work well when emulating her style. Brands such as La Tienda offer authentic high-end Spanish cookware while legendary brands such as Kamikoto offer exquisite blades for blending in Asian influences.
Carme Ruscalleda Videos