Can Jubany - New Catalan cuisine in Barcelona

"In the centre of the Plain of Vic, on a slight rise near Calldetenes village, there is a welcoming traditional Catalan farmhouse, now a space for discovering a new concept in taste..." This is all I allowed myself to read before arriving at Can Jubany’s quaint yet modern farmhouse restaurant an hour outside Barcelona. I previously had little interaction with Catalan cuisine and left both and mind and palate blank slates for the brief, food focused trip I took with four friends. Our party was as diverse as it comes with myself, Adlyn – Malay, Mayumi – Japanese, Adrien – French and Salome – Swiss, a truly global ensemble of serious gourmands.

We weren’t going to score reservations at El Bulli, so turned to other heavyweights during our short stay in Barcelona. After much deliberation, we settled upon El Cellar de Can Roca and Can Jubany for our two day trips out of the city. My friend Larissa turned me onto the latter after having just TA’ed the Harvard Science and Food course. She and the other teaching staff dined with Nandu Jubany himself and recounted how down to earth and passionate the accomplished chef was, which left quite an impression on her.

It wasn’t until after our meal there that I did further research on Nandu, and recognized how much his humble nature lent to the food and philosophy in his kitchen.

A strong proponent of sustainable agriculture and organic produce, he grows asparagus, tomatos, herbs, calots, and even raises cows, chickens and ducks at the Catalan farmhouse. ”My eggs are always the perfect shape, spherified in a series, inside a machine called a chicken, he proudly tells the NYTimes. His dishes are often elevated and reinvented versions of time honoured, traditional recipes, like grilled peas with botifarra and pork belly, and truffled free-range chicken cannelloni.

Miquel Sen, respected Spanish food personality sustains that Nandu’s cuisine is the “best example of the transition from good, solid, traditional cooking to brilliant modern cuisine”, a result of the effort, hard work and passion that Nandu and his team pour into their creations daily.

The restaurant’s interior is intimate as a farm house should be, with an airy lightness and structured lines that lend a clean, modern touch.

We opted for the seasonal menu, five courses that felt like much more with the complimentary dishes that appeared throughout. This was 49 Euro per person. Instead of ordering wine pairing as not everyone at the table was drinking, we ordered a bottle of Juve y Camps cava from Sant Sadurni D’Anoia. There’s also an a la carte option or a larger 9 course Tasting Menu for 89 Euro.

See photos for descriptions. The entire set can be seen on Flickr here.

A tip for those who read Espanol, Nandu has kindly provided a number of recipes on his website. Enjoy!

Ctra. de Sant Hilari, s/n

Calldetenes (Barcelona) Tel 93 889 10 23