Pastry Chef Oriol Balaguer - Biography

October 2018

When Oriol Balaguer was just 21 years old, he was nominated for “Best Pastry Chef in Spain”—the fi rst in a long line of “Best” awards that would come his way in the decades to follow. Most recently, he received the International Academy of Gastronomy’s 2018 “Prix au Chef Patissier” award, further solidifying his infl uence in the world of pastry.

Balaguer’s father was also a pastry chef, and Oriol loved watching him create artistic desserts at his bakery in Barcelona. His favorite after-school snack was bread with olive oil and chocolate, a taste memory that Balaguer uses to inspire sweet and savory creations today. After attending pastry school in Barcelona, he spent seven years working in the research workshop at El Bulli with Ferran and Albert AdriĆ . It was during this time that he wrote La Cocina de los Postres, a dessert cookbook that won the award for “World’s Best Dessert Book” in 2000. He also invented the dessert “Eight Chocolate Textures,” a chocolate cake that contained sponge, caramel, mousse, sorbet, brittle, cream, sauce, and a thin chocolate wafer. It won the title “World’s Best Dessert” in 2001.

Balaguer now has his own pastry shops in Barcelona, Madrid, and Riyadh, where he uses current events and the seasons to inspire new desserts.