The Torres brothers or how to cook by heart
We spoke with Sergio and Javier Torres, the twin and television chefs, about their new restaurant: Two Skies Madrid. And without abandoning Two Skies Barcelona. But they have good feet on the ground and hands on the stove.
Torres Brothers © GMDP
For a few months (and those that remain), Sergio and Javier Torres They spend time between Barcelona and Madrid: between Dos Cielos Barcelona and Dos Cielos Madrid. And, on one of those trips, we stole a few minutes in this new restaurant, the first one to open in Madrid, which has not been open for two months and a gap has already been made between the mandatory gastronomic appointments.
The main hall of Dos Cielos Madrid © Dos Cielos Madrid
As soon as you enter Dos Cielos Madrid, you understand why these two twin brothers, known for their program Towers in the Kitchen, they finally decided to open a restaurant in the capital animated by the spectacular venue: located in the courtyard of the new Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques hotel, they are old stables with more than two centuries of history that have respected and brought out brightness.
The interview will be in the main room surrounded by windows, brick walls, exposed beams and glass floors that allow you to see the ruins of the building, but before you start talking, Javier Torres shows us the second floor in which there is a reserved for 20 people who sit around a table made with the timbers of the stables themselves. And, in the background, the grandmother's cupboard Catalina chairs. They started cooking for her grandmother and she is still very present in her shop and in her memory kitchen.
Grandma Catalina's cupboard, always present © Dos Cielos
Has space been fundamental to finally encourage you to make the leap to Madrid?
Javier Torres: Yes, we already wanted to and in the end we found the space.
Sergio Torres: Everything was dusty, but it had very good energy. It had been the stables and then it was a school. We have been customers who were students here. It is a building 250 years old, and that gives a lot of vibes.
Having a place with this story, does something inspire you in the kitchen?
JT: The place, Madrid, and this traditional area where it has inspired us to make very personalized dishes.
ST: Having history gives you a lot of personality. And then the menu has traditional winks, but made our way ...
You already talk a lot about your reinterpretation of cooking…
ST: We've called it the 'Winter hug ' and we have some Madrid tripe, that instead of making them with pork we make them with cod. And there is some more wink. But there are not only influences from Madrid. For now we are starting, and we go out with the dishes that have worked very well in Two Skies Barcelona. But we also introduce influences from Brazil and our entire trajectory.
Cod tripe in Madrid © GMDP / Dos Cielos
What are those dishes that worked well for you and we found in Madrid?
ST: The classics.
JT: Well, the young classics.
ST: Contemporary, yes, because they don't have so much time. Now that we are in winter the foie gras ravioli with dried tomatoes and black olives
JT: The suckling kid of a farm in Extremadura that is brutal, San Pedro with bread with tomato and ham
ST: The peas ... many of those there are.
Do you want to differentiate Dos Cielos Madrid from Dos Cielos Barcelona?
ST: No no. The philosophy is the same, but each one is taking his personality. Here the dishes change and we do it more to Madrid's taste, but the cooking philosophy is the same.
And that philosophy is ...
ST: Very ours. Product, producer, very clean wines, but with a lot of flavor. It is a kitchen of memories, of memories. It is good cuisine.
Marinated Galician blonde © GMDP / Dos Cielos
What differentiates the sky from Madrid from the sky from Barcelona?
JT: There is a sky, here is another and that makes 'Two Heavens' laughs.
ST: Now the circle is closed: the sky of Barcelona lacked that of Madrid, and the sky of Madrid lacked that of Barcelona.
How have you seen the gastronomic scene in Madrid?
ST: If we had to open somewhere other than Barcelona, it had to be Madrid.
JT: It has an impressive capacity. In a few years, and especially this last year and next year, the amount of restaurants that open, with very different offers, is incredible. It is a city where many things happen.
All that amount of restaurants, new proposals and gastronomic boom who lives Madrid, imposes a little?
They jump both at the same time, their synchronization is amazing: On the contrary, it motivates.
ST: The good thing is that there are more and more restaurants. The competition is good and healthy. The better and more restaurants, the better the level.
JT: Madrid and Barcelona are two cities that were very well positioned, and the more restaurants and the more quality they are, more tourism will come and the city will be more powerful worldwide.
Lacquered purse knuckle "and something else" © GMDP / Dos Cielos
You define your kitchen as "Memory kitchen", But what is your first memory in the kitchen?
JT: For me they are smells more than flavors.
ST: I have visions of the marble of the my grandmother's kitchen, and above the viscera, toast, all very wild, very open. At home it was all very wild and I have that vision of whole chickens ...
JT: Those are memories that unintentionally mark you, fortunately. And that helps you build with technique. Before the broths were fatty, now they are clean, transparent, fat free, but with all the flavor, with all the power that moves you to that moment of childhood.
ST: We have been able after many years, acquiring a lot of base, from reinterpret dishes or flavors that you had in memory. And it is fascinating.
Is there a specific moment in which the hobby of being in the kitchen with your grandmother becomes something serious?
ST: When we were eight years old, we sat our parents at the table and said: “Dad, mom, we have a very serious thing to say: we want to be cooks" They sent us to bed telling us that we didn't know what we were saying. But from that day on we continued repeating it every day and, because of tired, heavy, with 14 years, at the end of the EGB, we were taken to a cooking school. Where they didn't want to take us either because we were very young. But we enter and revolutionize that. The professor fell in love with us.
JT: You have to think about the evolution that has taken place since then, because before there was no kitchen fad. When we started, nobody wanted to be a cook.
ST: And now everyone wants to be a cook. But before it was the last option. In the end, the professor, however heavy, took us. There we took the base and started working in places from the first moment we entered the school. First in the best restaurants in Spain and then in Europe.
"Mom, dad ... we want to be cooks" © GMDP / Dos Cielos
What is the secret for you to have come here, to endure now that, as you say, everyone cooks?
ST: We are of a very fixed idea and go for it. Many things have really happened, but we have not been influenced by anything.
JT: Do it right with enthusiasm, constancy, seriousness in what you do and work hard.
ST: And also believe in the kitchen line we have created, we have never deviated, because of many influences that say you have, however much they tell you that you must change ... We have never changed course, we have continued forward and, in the end, it is going well.
Do you create together, separately?
ST: Since we had reason, we have always been together, there is a lot of energy and good vibes; and when we decided that we wanted to be cooks with eight years, we already proposed our strategy that was to divide ourselves by the best houses in Europe and then get together. We did that. I have some techniques, Javier, others, and in the end it adds up.
And now you keep creating separately and then put ideas in common ...
Both: No no.
ST: Now is the merger, it is time to exploit all that knowledge we have acquired and put it there, at the service of the diner.
Steamed bull muffin © GMDP / Dos Cielos
What has the television program brought you?
ST: We are very happy, we have found a channel that we would never have thought, which is very nice to motivate people to cook at home and recover the pleasure of cooking at home, which seems to me something important. And we are learning a lot about product or how to get in front of the camera
JT: It is pure four-handed cooking.
ST: People are stopping us more and more in the street, the ladies make suggestions to us in the market or complain about why we did not know what ... And we listen to everyone, because it is a daily schedule and we need material, although then obviously we do it to our roll and with our personality.
To confirm your synchronization, do you share the two favorite dishes?
The two, again: The scholarship. The other day we ate one and ... Ooooh!
ST: We never wear a tie because we don't like the tie, but the day we eat a scholarship, we wear a tie
JT: It's like telling the plate: "You deserve a tie."
ST: We bought a good wine, he and I locked ourselves, with no one else, with ties ...
The main hall of Dos Cielos Madrid © Dos Cielos Madrid