` A Chef's Private 'Olive Oil Workshop' Below Madrid - Olive Oil Times

A Chef's Private 'Olive Oil Workshop' Below Madrid

Nov. 7, 2012
Naomi Tupper

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Olive oil expert and two-Michelin starred chef Paco Roncero has cre­ated a cut­ting edge new work­shop for devel­op­ing culi­nary ideas and con­cepts, includ­ing an oleotec’ hous­ing no less than 216 types of olive oil.

The ultra-mod­ern work­shop, which fea­tures the lat­est in ceramic mate­ri­als and pre­ci­sion tech­nol­ogy, can be found in the bow­els of the Casino de Madrid, which is also home to Roncero’s Terraza del Casion restau­rant.

The space was designed to act as a lab­o­ra­tory for cre­at­ing new culi­nary con­cepts, but also as a secre­tive venue for small, select groups of din­ers to take part in exper­i­men­tal din­ing expe­ri­ences.

The cen­ter­piece of the work­shop is the back-lit oleotec fea­tur­ing 216 spec­i­mens of olive oil, selected by the chef him­self. The design is based on a mural, with olive oils con­tained in test tubes arranged in wall pan­els with engraved num­bers and let­ters to iden­tify each oil.

A cen­tral touch screen pro­vides addi­tional infor­ma­tion about every olive oil on dis­play. The oils are main­tained at a con­stant tem­per­a­ture through the use of a con­vec­tion cool­ing sys­tem and a cool back light allows the dis­tinct color of each oil to be seen, as well as pro­vid­ing a visual effect in the work­shop as the light is emit­ted through each test tube.

Roncero is well known for his inno­v­a­tive work with olive oil and has cre­ated many novel dishes using what he describes as his ‘ favorite prod­uct’ and what he calles the most impor­tant ingre­di­ent is his kitchen’ in com­bi­na­tion with mol­e­c­u­lar gas­tron­omy tech­niques.


He often com­pletely changes the tex­ture or appear­ance of the oil to make a com­pletely new prod­uct, such as a healthy but­ter form of olive oil made through freez­ing and extract­ing the fat. He has also cre­ated such nov­el­ties as a Parmesancheese from which the fat has been removed and replaced with olive oil and a Chinese-influ­enced noo­dle soup which con­tains no flour or water, only olive oil.

Ronceros space-age work­shop, which was designed by Spanish stu­dio Carmen Baselga Taller de Proyectos, is an invi­ta­tion-only venue of exper­i­men­tal meals and ses­sions.

The space is ded­i­cated not only to the inno­va­tion of new gas­tro­nomic cre­ations, but also to the explo­ration and inves­ti­ga­tion of the rela­tion­ships between gas­tron­omy and the sur­round­ings. Experimentation with color, shape, and fla­vors, as well as envi­ron­men­tal vari­ables such as tem­per­a­ture, humid­ity, sounds and light will be car­ried out in the hope of learn­ing more about how these fac­tors affect the way we per­ceive and taste food.

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