The secret of Culler de Pau’s successes is with out a doubt the fact that Javier Ollero’s is without fail always in the kitchen. You be surprised how many head chefs/owners that are chefs are rarely in there own kitchens.
Not only is Javier constantly hands on, on every dish that comes out of his kitchen- he is also incredibly in tune with the entire sequence of everything he serves creating an overal intense and consistant dining experience like I have rarely experienced in any other kitchen.
I usually always ask the chef to serve what he feels is best and it is a very japanese thing to do. We call it Omakase which just emphasises the fact of trust to a chef of such great ability to serve you what is truly going to be the best possible menu for you at this moment, taking in consideration your particular preferences and requirements. Below you can see Javier planing our menu.
I did not want to say what the dishes are as I think it is important to leave things to for the actual experience and the imagination.
This article is purely a commemoration to Javier for being one of the most diligent chefs and for always being in the kitchen at all times and his hands, hart and mind is on every dish that enters the dining room.
For me Culler de Pau is one of the greatest restaurants of our time and still very underrated. I personally feel that there are several restaurants on the worlds 50 best restaurant list that are not even half as good a Culler de Pau.
There are restaurants on this list that have 30 chefs working everyday and producing a good dining experience for a 40 cover restaurant ,however when I taste the food in Culler de pau produced by 3 chefs and 1 assistant chef for the same amount of covers it is absolutely mind-blowing what they can do!
Javiers magic lies in his intuition and strong connection to his surrounding area of O Grove. He closely works with the uniquest of producers that reside in his area and he respects the true flavours of his ingredients in everything he creates.
He is a purist and I can really appreciate his work. It works and you can taste everything directly without any unnecessary interference by the chef. The magic is to know how much to do and when to stop. It is a subtle understanding that is refined through being sensitive and intuitive.
Working with Javier is a real privilege. He has a real humanistic relation to everyone he encounters in his day from his own family to the suppliers, his customers and his team. I want to thank Javier, Amarantha, Taka and Lou for being such a positieve force in our chef industry and for sharing so generously with me and Sergio.
Galicia is an incredible place and I recommend anyone to go on a culinary journey and visit the great land and enjoy the great food that Galicia has to offer. I will soon recommend a Galician Gourmet tour but for now I leave you with the the incredible meal I had in Culler de Pau.