This elegant restaurant, celebrated for its creative dishes, close to the Prado Museum and top hotels is one of the most delightful and relaxing places to dine in old Madrid.
One of the youngest and most original chefs working in Spain today, Tomas Herranz believes that olive oil is an indispensable ingredient in modern cooking.
Never far from a kitchen since the age of 11, Tomas Herranz has remained loyal to the traditions of Spanish oven baking but his reputation as a daring and innovative cook has spread far and wide. His exquisite salads, glowing with color and fragrant with the spices and the delicate flavor of olive oil are mush acclaimed at his El Cenador del Prado restaurant in central Madrid. Describes as imaginative, sensitive and refined his cooking reflects a great ability to harmonize a wide variety of blends and flavors.
Tomas Herranz's interest in food began in his boyhood when he pottered around his mother's kitchen in Madrid. He started working at 14 and his first job was as an apprentice baker in the confectionery section at the Madrid Castellena Hilton Hotel.
He was a quick learner and his ability in the culinary arts landed him jobs in the Canary and Balearic Islands, Italy, France and the United States from 1974 to 1980. Optimistic in outlook and versatile in his skills, Tomas Herranz strives for perfection in his kitchen, but admits t hat at times he has to struggle for inspiration.
He returned to Madrid in 1981 where he worked as head chef in La Boucade restaurant where he remained until 1984, the year he inaugurated El Cenador del Prado which was awarded "The Best New Restaurant of the Year Prize" by Spain's leading food critics.
Tomas Herranz, 39, who won The National Gastronomy Prize in 1990, considers that Spanish cooking contains a wealth of cultural influences and is among the world's finest. Although he prefers Spanish recipes, his adventurous nature has led him to include a number of international dishes in El Cenador's menu. His favorite herbs are cumin, oregano and mint and he insists that no larder should be without eggs, potatoes and olive oil.
Fry 1/2 cup of olive oil with lemon peel. Cool and add white wine, salt and flour as required and knead well. Leave for an hour.
Roll the dough with a rolling pin and cut strips of different sizes. Wrap these strips around cylinders of metal and fry, until golden, in olive oil. Let drain on paper towels and powder with cinnamon and icing sugar.
Lace a dish with caramel and stick the tubes upright. Fill them with either apple sauce, rice pudding or cream. Garnish with chocolate sauce and a spiral of caramel.
Provided by Great Chefs and Olive Oil From Spain
This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.
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This page modified January 2007
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