The Leaders of Enogastronomy

Paco Roncero: The Chef Takes a Stand Against Those Criticizing Restaurants Without Visiting. 'Absurd'

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina paco roncero

A chef's maturity lies in style and the ability to balance professional and personal life without wasting energy on pretextual controversies.

The news

At fifty-four, Paco Roncero can proudly display satisfaction: at the helm of the eponymous two-star restaurant, the oldest in the capital, and NH Collection Casino in Madrid, he has just released a book ("The Silent Insurrection of the Chef," Montagud publisher, featuring the best dishes of the last ten years) and sponsored a competition. His creativity shows no sign of decline, perhaps because he has finally understood that there is a world to dedicate himself to beyond work: family.

Paco Roncero Restaurante Madrid 21

"I am going through a very positive moment: I have managed to balance my professional and personal life," he tells El Mundo. If the childhood of his children is something he has lost forever, swallowed by work commitment, he still has time to reclaim some of their lives. And if a few years ago he weighed 264 pounds, he has also added a healthy jog to get back in shape.


Maybe it's because, for a long time, he has also been a television personality: after Canal Cocina and MasterChef Colombia, there have been two editions of Top Chef, Tupper Club on Telemadrid, and soon, Duel of Spoons. But without fanfare. "I like to practice my profession in silence. I do my job, my television, my sport. I don't care what people think of me. I move forward. It's been 32 years, and it's something I haven't achieved alone but with people I've been working with for a long time: my kitchen chefs Javier Alonso and Marta de Segovia; Sara Fort in the dining room; Maria José Huertas in the cellar. I have an impressive team," he says. There are 22 collaborators in the restaurant and more than a hundred in the Casino, loyal to fair working hours (8, not 16 hours), even if it means reducing services and raising the menu prices a bit. "The secret to growing and succeeding is to surround ourselves with people better than us, equipped with what we lack. Together, we evolve better and faster. I am super proud of them, a happy uncle, so the glass is always half full."

paco roncero Steak tartar con caviar ahumado

Controversies deflate quickly. "It saddens me that there are people who have the audacity to criticize us, to say that we are not creative, when they have been absent from the restaurant for seven years. I try to spend as little time as possible on these comments; I analyze them, and if they lead to nothing, I delete them from my hard drive. Why should I worry about those who are more interested in novelties? Okay, we're a classic, but I feel more modern than many new places." The roots are well planted in the fundamentals and recipes passed down, to which Roncero applies avant-garde techniques and perspectives, also learned alongside Ferran Adrià. Today, for example, he enjoys experimenting with 3D printers, which immediately turn his every fantasy into reality.

Paco Roncero

Latest news

show all

We respect your Privacy.
We use cookies to ensure you an accurate experience and in line with your preferences.
With your consent, we use technical and third-party cookies that allow us to process some data, such as which pages are visited on our website.
To find out more about how we use this data, read the full disclosure.
By clicking the ‘Accept’ button, you consent to the use of cookies, or configure the different types.

Configure cookies Reject