by Melissa Lupo
Who knew Instagram could be so sweet?
Self-professed “mad scientist” and contributor to Annabelle magazine, Andrew Sutton (@a.dessertbar) decided to leave chilly London for an inspirational camino en ciudad with me in balmy Barcelona to discuss ideas and see some potential pastry pop-up spots, basically some off-duty #streetcheffing.
We wandered the city, stopping into three places over two days.
Our first stop at Balaguer had us thinking about flavors and textures. The second place, Hetta restaurant to visit Chef Olof, showed us some creative methods and preparations, then the morning after we stopped in to meet the famous pastry chef and instructor, Jordi Butrón of Espai Sucre, a pastry school and all dessert restaurant, giving us ideas for what is possible.
Andrew doesn’t call himself a pastry chef but he loves the science of sweets. Doing pop-up collaborations with restaurants and brands he’s figuring out how people taste in the way that they do and even more, they psychology of why.
…he’s figuring out how people taste in the way that they do and even more, the psychology of why.
Never underestimate the importance of wandering. Before you solidify, identify.
Soaking in the day we stopped for a little gelato and coffee at Balaguer to inspire plans for this future pop-up.
Balaguer has great packaging and every drop of the shop feels like an Instagram indulgence.
What you do with a carrot and what I do with a carrot is everything.
Digging deeper for desserts, we stopped in to see chef Olof at the new concept restaurant, Hetta.
A menu designed around a group of ingredients, small plates are varied by cook temperature. Carrot cooked three ways or a mix of crudo dishes, it’s a new way to think before you eat, and for Olof and Andrew, a perfect pairing of the minds.
Even as an executive chef and boxer, Olof Johansson somehow always maintains his chill. He’s the mind behind the restaurant concept and an all around amazing guy. That said, it’s pretty clear that if you don’t play your cards right he could probably kick your ass.
Seeing the two together torching a marshmallow with flame-thrower effects had me wistful and wondering what Andrew could come up with after this.
It’s one thing to think something, it’s another to know it.
Infamous Catalan pastry chef and teacher Jordi Butrón likes to keep people guessing. Aspiring pastry chefs come from all over the world to learn his methods at Espai Sucre, school and dessert restaurant.
Chatting with the master we learned that the world of pastry is somewhat disenfranchised and there is still a lot be discovered. You almost forget that “pastry” as we know it only began in the 60’s. In fact, even the word itself doesn’t quite fit all the things people are doing with sugar now.
So these sweet scientists, these pastry people, are a special kind. They wake up early, are always covered in white powder, and are on a perpetual sugar high. From candy boy Andrew Sutton to sugar daddy, Jordi Butròn, the new school of sweets is steadily changing and whatever it becomes, we know it’ll be good.