Our chef Ismael Bilbao, from wires to haute cuisine in Denia

Our chef, Ismael Bilbao, born in Seville, raised in Triana, father an electrician and mother a housewife. After enrolling in electrical school and discovering that it wasn’t his thing, he decided to change wiring for r haute cuisine.

How does an apprentice electrician become a haute cuisine chef?

“One day, while skipping classes, “de rabona” with my colleagues, a colleague told me that he was going to sign up for some night cooking courses at La Taberna del Alabardero, in Seville and that, for some reason, caught my attention, I decided to sign up too and that’s when it all started…”, says Ismael. After completing the course, which lasted approximately two weeks, he discovered that his vocation was haute cuisine and decided to enroll in the school to become a great chef.

Once he finished his hotel and catering studies, after five years of absolute dedication, his own classmates and teachers encouraged him to continue his training, all agreeing that, even then, he was already showing great potential and that he could carve out a niche for himself in the haute cuisine of our country. He then decided to move to Barcelona and continue his training, in this case at the Hoffman School of Hotel Management, a prestigious school that has had in its classrooms chefs of the stature of Jon Giraldo and Jaime Lieberman of Spoonik.

His training at Hoffman lasted three years, with maximum involvement and surrounded by great chefs. Once concludedmoved to Gironaspecifically to Foixà, to do his internship at Can Quel restaurant. which, at that time, was one of the most visited restaurants by the most renowned chefs of the Catalan gastronomy since its tradition dates back to 1899, where they delighted their visitors with the best Catalan and Empordà recipes baked in a wood-fired oven.

Fruit of Chance

One of the afternoons, as Ismael tells us, Feli, Can Quel’s head chef, was very unwell and had to leave the restaurant, and we all decided that I would take over the service. That same afternoon, the renowned chef of haute cuisine of our country,
Santi Santamaría
came to the restaurant for dinner.

“What was my surprise?”- he comments, “-…It seems that he liked two of the dishes that I presented to him very much, he went into the kitchen to congratulate Feli and checked that it was me who had prepared them…”. It was at that precise moment, and by chance, when he began his professional career at Can Fabes, a prestigious restaurant that between 1994 and 2011 had three Michelin Stars and, according to the British magazine Restaurant, was ranked 31st on the list of the best restaurants in the world in 2008.

How did you come to Dénia and how was Samaruc born?

He says he came to Dénia for love and while on vacation he discovered what he is now
. At that time it was a very neglected place, he decided to invest all his savings and embark on this exciting project.

He also discovered that Denia enjoys the good fortune of being in a magical enclave, of having an incredible local product, visitors from all over the world willing to let themselves be carried away by the gastronomic proposals of its restaurateurs.

Samaruc was born with a very clear idea: to offer a signature cuisine with textures, colors and, above all, flavors that will not leave anyone indifferent.

More information about Samaruc Restaurant and reservations here.

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