Thursday, December 24, 2009

ESPAI SUCRE - Dessert... it's what's for dinner

I don't know if any other place has been able to pull this idea off for as long as Espai Sucre has. Correct me if I am wrong (Chickalicious (sp?) perhaps, but not as long as E.S.; (I actually spoke to one of the owners of Espai Sucre, Xano Sager, and he tells a funny story of visiting Chicalicious incognito, and while speaking to one of the owners of Chk, hearing that they had been inspired by Espai Sucre, well, you can figure out the rest of the story); as far as I know, they broke ground in this very specific niche, and keep going at it over a decade later. I had wanted to go since the first time I went to Barcelona a decade ago, but I did not have it together and did not reserve a table at this very small restaurant (you can check it out at; this year I finally scored a table on time (no thanks to me, but actually thanks to the good folks at PRODECA, who sponsored this trip). The premise is that at Espai Sucre they want to blur the line between sweet and savory. It does work to an extent, but to me the drive is clearly sweet, with some savory undertones. It is clever beyond explanation though, since all of us (and the group included savory chefs) did not feel like we had just eaten dessert after dessert. We were sated as if he had just had a normal dinner. And that, my friends, is pretty smart.

Watch the video. This is what appears in chronological order:

a) The table setting, simple and cool.

b) Chocolate sable, olives and licorice (good)

c) Cracker, pear, smoked paprika sausage, apples, honey.(good)

d) Pumpkin cream, pumpkin seeds and cream cheese (delicious)

e) Butter croissant roll (outstanding)

f) Duck magret with cacao cake and lemon (the rings are dehydrated onion) (delicious)

-A spoon that looks a lot like the upside-down quenelle spoon -

g) "Ginger Ale", Cucumber (wrapped in a cucumber gel) and Pineapple-tarragon sorbet (very good)

h) Extra virgin olive oil cake, white peach (agar gel and then a sorbet), green olive (croquant on top and puree at the bottom) and "San Simon" (a smoky cheese, used in a puree form at the bottom of the cake, next to the green olive puree). (Still unsure if I liked the combo... I liked the individual components though)

i) Truffle mushroom (gelee and oil), butter (ice cream), hazelnut (cookie at base), cocoa (crumbs). Topping is a sort of poundcake; it was soft, not toasted. I enjoyed this item... but I don't know why, since mushrooms and sweet don't usually work, but here they kind of did.

j) Tour of the kitchen... it's tiny.

They also have a school, which is the financial support for the restaurant, since according to Xano, they make no money from it. Now, that's love of the craft. It goes against all we have been taught (on how to make money). Oh how I want a place such as this!

BTW, Espai Sucre means "Sweet Space" literaly. It's in Catalan, so there is a chance I may be wrong on the translation.



  1. Thank you for posting about your meal at Espai Sucre, let alone the video!

  2. I have tried contacting them about there classes in pastry and such. I was very disappointed to hear that the classes are only taught in Spanish. (guess its time for me to practice up on my espanol)Hope your doing well Chef Happy Holidays.

    PS: Congrats on the new book it is outstanding

  3. Thank you Russel. Hope L20 is going well for you.