Cocina Hermanos Torres is one of Barcelona’s top restaurants, retaining its coveted three Michelin stars in the 2024 guide – alongside its green star, an accolade given to eateries with impressive eco-credentials. Jenny Jefferies had a peek behind the scenes.
Backstage At Cocina Hermanos Torres, Barcelona
The restaurant of the future looks very Brechtian in its production; Cocina Hermanos Torres in Barcelona, Spain is a prime example. With nine kitchens working together as one: covering fish and seafood, cold room and vegetables, meats and birds, preparatory kitchen, and central islands, twin brothers, Javier and Sergio Torres opened their unique restaurant in 2018. Since then, it has been awarded three Michelin stars, and a green Michelin star, all of which it held onto in the 2024 guide.
‘You always have to keep dreaming and learn from your mistakes,’ says Sergio (translated from Spanish). ‘Perseverance and hard work. Taste is in the time.’
The warehouse space consists of 70 percent kitchen, and as the remaining percentage of diners sit around the sides of the kitchen stations, they enjoy a truly sustainable and technological revolution in hospitality.
Putting all that to one side momentarily, Bertolt Brecht, the German play-writer, would be very proud. Brecht is renowned for his mastery in theatre ‘in the round’, and there’s no better place for that than in the restaurant.
However, it is not all as it seems; there is no shouting that one would expect from a professional kitchen. The restaurant all runs so smoothly, like clockwork. It’s very calm, almost like a dance. Organisation like this requires skill, patience and discipline, and also what Javier describes as ‘a wheel; a wheel of happiness and magic. Which simply translates to dinner’. If you look after your staff with an ample amount of training, security and information, he says, you construct a good team. They are passionate about educating the next generation and offer internships and opportunities for new people – which they refer to as ‘fresh air’.
Sustainability is at the heart of what the Torres brothers do at Covina Hermanos Torres, and their Michelin green star is thoroughly deserved. They are a shiny beacon of environmental and technological innovation. Their waste and recycling area makes compost for their neighbours, which is then used as fertiliser, the warehouse in which their restaurant is staged has increased insulation and good ventilation, and there is a park in front of the building to encourage a community and a shared experience. Paper has been replaced by screens, plastics are all recycled, and they use disinfectant water, which reduces their chemical bill. They also use invisible induction where there is no heat loss – the surface doesn’t heat up at all and only the containers do, and they miss out the middlemen entirely, going straight to the food producers themselves.
The future is sustainability, technology and innovation, and Javier and Sergio are at the heart of it. With their great vision, global reach, commercial gain and hard work, it’s all happening for them right now.
The pair say that they had no godfathers to learn from – and perhaps they are the godfathers, for the next generation.
Find out more at cocinahermanostorres.com