He just turned 40, though many still refer to him as ‘that young chef’. I reckon that it may be due to the energy and enthusiasm he projects, always inventing, always coming up with new projects. It somehow seems that while everyone else gets older, he is the same as he was years ago, perhaps because he has been doing what he most likes since he was 15: cooking.
At first, it was at his family’s restaurant: La Ancha, which he runs today with his brother; and later, learning from the greats, such as Luis Irízar, Juan Mari Arzak, Salvador Gallego, Hilario Arbelaitz, Martin Berasategui, Ferran Adrià... He garnered a wealth of knowledge from them that complemented the experience from working at restaurants like Lindsay House, in London, or at Abacanto, in Bergamo, Italy.
Once he had finished training, he had to put into practice what he’d learned, and so, in 2005 he decided to forge his own path with Las Tortillas de Gabino, a restaurant combining age-old traditional cooking, learned from his family, with the techniques of the best chefs who had been his teachers.
As if this were not enough, in 2009 he opened La Gabinoteca, where Nino lets his imagination fly in an eatery offering good produce, very imaginative dishes, and a very young and laid-back atmosphere. He even opened a branch of this restaurant in Athens, although that venture did not last long.
In 2015 a great character crossed his path: Patxi Zumárraga, who from that moment has accompanied him like a faithful squire in all his of adventures.
The great personality that Nino conveys to his food was what made Rafa Nadal, Pau Gasol and Enrique Iglesias, among other partners, sign him up as the culinary director of their restaurant, Tatel, which he still consults for, as he does for others, such as Garbo in Zaragoza.
And finally, Fismuler: his most transgressive project and in which Nino, together with his partner, Patxi Zumárraga, has opened his ideal restaurant. Nino is meticulous and creative. He is interested in improving his cooking day by day, and at Fismuler (which now also has a branch in Barcelona) he has turned it around and set his sights on Nordic countries, in their new cuisine that extols the healthiest and most natural raw materials, using many more vegetables and less fried food, and lots of produce from the surroundings.
As Nino Redruello himself tells me, ‘We have more dreams than enthusiasm, time and strength, but we will do something else...’ And I’m convinced of it, because his Peter Pan keeps beating inside him with great vigour.
By Alberto Granados