Jordi Butrón

October 3, 2018

Jordi Butrón, the Alpha and Omega of contemporary pastry-making   ‘Flavour is the absolute priority, all other variables (technique, plating and aesthetics, etc.) are vehicles, the means to achieve it and not an end in themselves. We must highlight flavours and remain faithful to the original product.’ This is the first point on the decalogue of Espai Sucre, an institute created by Jordi Butrón (the world’s true pioneer of haute-cuisine desserts) and Xano Saguer (his inseparable partner and friend) in 2000, and which has become a veritable global academy. Hundreds of young, aspiring chefs have trained there, attending class in Spain, Mexico and Colombia, to achieve an in-depth understanding – and learn about – the real roots of sweet cuisine, whose levels of complexity and perfection were almost impossible to understand and pull off just a few years ago.   Jordi Butrón discovered and steered his path to pastry-making after he finished studying at the Hospitality and Catering School of Barcelona. He later learned and perfected his technique at Escribà (in Barcelona) and at the Crillon (in Paris) among other places, discovering the profession and foreseeing his goals. He worked for seven years as head pastry chef with Jean Luc Figueras. In 1998, after stints at elBulli and Bras, he won the prize for Best Pastry Chef in Spain.   He began to overcome all the culinary barriers at gastronomy events to make sweet cuisine his raw material and, through it, design several of the most avant-garde creations in contemporary Spanish cuisine.   ‘Everything revolves around flavour.’ It is the Alpha and Omega of all gastronomic experiences, Jordi repeats in every interview. The whole range of flavours are to be found in his universe: ‘Acidity, bitterness, spiciness and the soothing coexist in harmony with sweetness.’ Long ago, he already proclaimed that the ‘monopoly and tyranny of sugar’ had come to an end.   The introduction of new techniques, ingredients and utensils have allowed greater control over flavours, but Butrón’s path has also been marked by his respect for tradition, by the ways of doing things inherited from different culinary cultures – Spanish and Latin American – with which he has lived side by side.   By Pablo García-Mancha