Michael Townsend, head of the Harbour House Group, has announced that top Spanish chef Andres Condé is to join the business as Group Executive Chef from June 2014.
Condé, is previously from elBulli, recognized as the world's most famous restaurant before it closed in 2011, where he was second in charge to Albert Adrià. More recently Condé was Head Chef at the 1 Michelin star Tickets tapas restaurant and the adjoining 41° Bar in Barcelona, both owned by the Adrià brothers.
Condé, currently a lecturer at the prestigious Basque Culinary Centre in San Sebastian, has for years been at the forefront of Spanish alta cocina (haute cuisine), mastering techniques that contributed towards making elBulli into a world famous icon of modern gastronomy.
Before elBulli’s closure, owner Ferran Adrià, widely recognized as a creative culinary genius, was reputed to be the top chef in the world and the restaurant scooped numerous accolades including four successive wins as the World's number one restaurant at the San Pellegrino World's Best Restaurant Awards.
Says Michael Townsend, “it’s a major coup for the Harbour House Group to have a chef of Andres’ calibre and reputation taking the Group’s restaurants to a superb new level of dining experience for our customers”.
Focus will be on La Parada first
Condé will begin with an overhaul of the La Parada menu, creating authentic tapas dishes from the different regions of Spain. The other restaurants in the Group whose menus will be addressed will be Harbour House, Sirocco, Polana and Live Bait.
Andres hails from Pamplona in Navarra, Spain. He studied at the Escuela Superior de Hostelería de Santurce in Bilbao where he finished first in his class. In 2003 he won the award for best young chef of Navarra, Spain.
The prize was a 2-month internship at elBulli after which he stayed on for a further 6 years. After a season in the hot and cold kitchens he moved on to pastry, where he remained for two years.
In 2006, during elBulli’s annual break, he did six months at The French Laundry in California, also in the pastry kitchen. He returned to elBulli to spend the following three years as Albert Adrià’s right hand in the development of new techniques, culminating in the production of the elBulli dessert book Natura. He also spent six months at the 3 Michelin star Restaurante Martín Berasategui in 2006.
In 2010 Andres left elBulli to assist Albert Adrià during 2011 and 2012 with the development of recipes and menus for Tickets and 41°. He resigned from the positions in September 2012 in anticipation of his son’s birth and took up his teaching position at the Basque Culinary Centre.
He loves the thrill of making his imagination edible but also believes that technique is the servant of flavour, texture and appearance.