Rooftop Smokehouse

The many flavours of smoke

Written by Alba Yañez
Photographed by Mari Luz Vidal

It started in Barcelona, when a group of friends who missed the food from their home countries, began to cook. Buster, the head chef, is responsible for designing the menus, and smoking and cooking in general. Carla is in charge of production and the organization of events, while the rest of the team, Jakob Zeller (South Tyrol, Italy), Niki Robinson (Jersey, UK), Joe Fletcher (Somerset, UK), Lena Vogele (South Tyrol, Italy), help and support them, both within and outside the kitchen. Together they form an infallible machine.

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From the beginning, their interest as chefs focused on product origin and the tradition of gastronomic culture, which led them to specialise in one of the oldest techniques of food preservation that exists: smoking. “We were very curious to learn the technique of cold and hot smoking, and decided to try it with several unusual products, using traditional methods. After many, many, trials it seems people liked it”.

«A good smoke is the same as good cuisine: choose quality products, truly spend time preparing and cooking, and use good technique. As with everything, it can go wrong, but the important thing is to learn and improve for next time».

Varying the application of smoke when working was one of their first successes: “With meat we like applying fruit woods like cherry, pear, apple or orange. For fish we use beech or oak. The temperature is adjusted according to the food and the result we want”. An important part of their daily work is talking to with suppliers. They like to contact farmers and local growers directly, and establish a relationship of mutual trust with them.

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