Esteve Cantos: at midday, a proposal of 9 euros can be made

Esteve Cantos: at midday, a proposal of 9 euros can be made

Esteve Cantos is very clear: “at midday, we want to work, and you can make an entree with salad or cream, plus rice, fish or meat, and dessert for 9 euros.” At nights and weekends, the offer must be more gastronomic and satisfying as many as possible, it is normal in leisure time to be different, we all have to live and the diner appreciates it.” (more…)

Gerard Balasch, in La Huerta, among the tradition and the opening to a new public

Gerard Balasch, in La Huerta, among the tradition and the opening to a new public

After studying technical drawing, with 20 years, the young Gerard Balasch Botargues, son of Jordi Balasch (Xalet Suís), decides that his professional future will be in the kitchen. It will be with Rafael Tugues with whom he will enter the pastry shop world in 2000, then make sweet and salty cuisine. Now, for a few months, Gerard runs the restaurant La Huerta, the other restaurant of the Botargues group.

Gerard faces this responsibility with enthusiasm and says “I think that from traditional cooking we are struggling to recover the value of the home product. Go out of the most defined kitchen, keep it open but open it to other possibilities and other people. “With this intention, Balasch is sure to respect the usual traditional letter of the house, recognized by grilled meats, snails and other traditional elaborations, at the time of introducing new products and new proposals to “expand the public”. Antonio Lordan, as room manager; and Mariona Botargues, of the administration; complete the current management team of the restaurant La Huerta.

Despite the youth of Gerard, his career is broad and complete. From the beginning, he decided that his activity in the kitchen would start outside the family restaurant runned by his father, Jordi Balasch. “I wanted to learn outside because I returned home to bring something new”. During his time with Rafael Tugues, he also met the baker Josep Ramon Cases (currently, Sucre i Disseny de Alcarràs), and to his friend, the sommelier Xavier Ayala who then opened the door for a stay of six Months at the Celler de Can Roca in 2003. When he returned to Lleida, he went through the kitchens of the restaurants Genial and Xalet Suís, when he was secondly to be awarded the Young Chefs Àngel Moncusí 2014 award.

He then went to Huesca, to Lillas Pastía by Carmelo Bosque; and in the restaurant of Carme Ruscalleda in Sant Pol de Mar. After working for a while at home, at Xalet Suís, the next destination was the place where another young chef had opened, who arrived at the kitchen after having studied biology, Gonzalo Ferreruela.

The chef of La Huerta explains that “going outside, I wanted to do different things. I disconnected from traditional cuisine. At home, Xalet Suís already interpreted the traditional cuisine as a new most evolved kitchen. But with Gonzalo I saw another way of understanding this tradition. And I am rediscovering the importance of the product and the origin that we have already taken care of at home in a very noble and satisfying way. Gonzalo also, I understand, has revolutionized the direct burning grill, with a very clear and personal vision.”

La Huerta, a reference for grilled snails and meats, and much more …

La Huerta restaurant celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016. Since then, it has been a reference in Caracoles a la Llauna, grilled meats and Lleida cuisine. Now, Gerard wants to incorporate new dishes and his particular way of understanding the product kitchen.

Thus with the proposals of traditional entrees Salad of tomato and ventresca; Cheese salad; esqueixada; Bread Toast with escalivada; o Barbecue of roasted vegetables; we can also find the gnocchi with boletus cream and new ones; Wheat salad, with tomatoes and fresh herbs; o Cold cherry soup and watermelon with prawns. The Palometa vermella, with bouquet of her thorns; the Chicken with foie and prawns; Casserole of chickpeas with cod and spinach; Beef rib with mustard sauce; or the desserts Que li darem … (raisins, figs, honey and curd) are other specialties of the house that we will find 365 days a year.