One of Spain's best chefs ever. Carme Ruscalleda closed her flagship restaurant four years ago, but she has not hung up her apron. She is still a leader of good gastronomy, sustainability and produce.
Carme Ruscalleda (Sant Pol de Mar, 1952) is Spain's female chef with the most Michelin stars, as many as seven, three of which were earned at her widely acknowledged Sant Pau. Her work now focuses on advisory and management of her catering businesses through her company, Cuina Estudi Carme Ruscalleda.
Over 30 years, Ruscalleda and her husband Toni Balam ran the Sant Pau restaurant in their native town, Sant Pol de Mar, near Barcelona, an eatery soon due to be reopened by their son Raül, who is now in charge of the Moments restaurant in Barcelona. The family also still manages the Sant Pau restaurant in Tokyo, which opened in 2004.
Ruscalleda, a self-taught chef, started out in gastronomy in her parents' delicatessen right opposite what was to become the restaurant. She developed the business to consolidate her brand of local cookery with an international outlook, and this has earned her a place in history. Both critics and the general public have helped her along in this, in addition to many awards and prizes. Inter alia, Ruscalleda won the National Gastronomy Award in 1998, Chef of the Year, Golden Chef, the Nadal Gastronomy Award and the 2004 Sant Jordi Cross Prize, Catalonia's highest award.