Signature Series: Patatas Bravas from Chef Sergi Arola


I don’t know where to even start. This has been a day of passion and excitement in Sydney!

World Chef Showcase has brought together a degustation of chefs representing many countries and cuisines. When I planned my program, my first session of the day started with Chef Sergi Arola of Spain. Often described as the ‘rockstar of Spain’s next generation of chefs’, I was truly delighted to meet Chef Arola before the session commenced.  Later, we all learned that Chef Arola believes music and food both stir the soul. (He once had a band called Los Canguros which, appropriately means Kangaroos!)

During the session there were many references to the guest. We were told that his wife is manager of the restaurant, and each day, she reminds him that the chef and the kitchen are not all that there is. Chef Arola reminded us that no matter how wonderful the food, that if the service is poor, the dining experience will be ‘a disaster’.

He regaled that tapas is not a set of dishes but a way of life: eating, living, loving. Detail was integral. Passion was demonstrated in each component. The utmost attention and care was taking in cooking and assembly. Yet he was humble, and said cookery is not about molecular or non-molecular gastronomy, that physics has always played its part. And, more than just showing us the cookery techniques that are changing our past present and future, he spoke of produce as the foundation. He reinforced the importance of flavour from produce and reiterated his support of organic and sustainable farming. He is also an adamant supporter of protecting (the seafood species of) the oceans.

Patatas Bravas

Cut peeled potatoes into small cylinders (you can use an apple corer to achieve this) then make a small in each using a Parisienne cutter.

Bake covered in oil, confit style, in a low oven (110C) for 35 minutes. Fry in hot oil when ready to serve. Season generously with good salt.

Salsa Brava

Blanch peel and de-seed 500g vine-ripened tomatoes. Brown 2 – 3 cloves of garlic in oil, add 2 dried birds-eye chillies and 1/2 teaspoon of tomato paste. Season and cook to form a thick sauce. Pss through a fine sieve or tamis.


Emulsify 2 egg yolks, 1 whole egg, 200ml sunflower oil, 200ml olive oil, 100ml garlic oil with salt, as making a mayonnaise.

To serve assemble and garnish with finely chopped parsley.

Chef Sergi Arola also presented Ajo Blanco with Cherry Caviar and Asparagus, and, Coca with Foie Gras and Capsicus, today at Session One Program 3 World Chef Showcase Sydney.

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Comments for this article

2 Responses to “Signature Series: Patatas Bravas from Chef Sergi Arola”

  1. George@CulinaryTravels says:
    October 11, 2009 at 12:06 am

    They look stunning, I love patatas bravas.

  2. leslie grindstaff says:
    October 11, 2009 at 7:20 am

    recently saw barbara streisand on oprah and she went to spain specifically to eat! she took pictures of the meals and she was totally in love with the cuisine and the innovations! i’m castelian spanish and have never been to spain but i am planning to go! thanks for the article!

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