“What an extraordinary talent. Born to cook.” That’s how the team at Spanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Girona describe Catalan chef Daniel Redondo. Born in Spain, his talent also reverberated in Brazil, where he opened the São Paulo restaurant Maní alongside chef Helena Rizzo, to whom he was married.
He died this Friday (24) at the age of 46 in a traffic accident in which his motorcycle collided with a car. The driver of the car was unharmed, according to Spanish newspaper El País.
Daniel Redondo fried croquettes as a child, was expelled from school and from a few football games. In the kitchen, he learned discipline, washed dishes, peeled onions. He wasn’t late. And there were few words. His story is described in the book “Maní”, which tells the story of the São Paulo restaurant and its creators.
At 27, Redondo was chef at El Celler de Can Roca, twice voted the best restaurant in the world by 50 Best. He worked at the house for 13 years.
It was also there where he met Helena Rizzo, who had gone to intern at the restaurant. Together, they came to Brazil in 2006 to open Maní together in São Paulo.
Maní’s success after Redondo’s departure from the operation, which impressed technique and rigor, suggests that his legacy was a well-trained team, capable of translating his teachings, in order to highlight the poetic contribution of Helena Rizzo, the driving force of the house .
The chef even paid tribute to her ex-husband on social media and said that, without him, Maní would not be what it is today. “Talented, hardworking, creative! I’m sure that all the people who passed by the restaurant and many others who still work there will forever cherish all his legacy and teachings,” she wrote when sharing photos of the two on Instagram.
Rizzo said the two had not spoken for many years, since their separation, but said he had “a giant, generous heart.” “We went through a lot together… incredible and difficult moments, of construction and learning”, he reported.
After Maní left, Redondo helped renovate the kitchen at A Figueira Rubayat with recipes such as fideuá (a relative of paella, made with pasta) with squid or shrimp with saffron.
In 2016, the One&Only chain promoted “exchanges” between chefs at its resorts, in places such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahamas and Mauritius. Redondo was one of the chefs who held a series of dinners at the chain’s hotels – he stayed at One&Only in Cape Town (South Africa) for seven days.
Redondo participated in the third season of the program Masterchef Brasil (Band). He was the guest of the quarterfinals, and demonstrated to the participants three ways to prepare octopus.
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