Rilke: Catalan cuisine

Rilke gastronomic restaurant is located in Barcelona’s Eixample district.

At first glance it is hard to find, located on the first floor of a building, you must ring the bell so that they can open the door for you. As you climb the stairs, you arrive in a luxurious apartment, mixing vintage and modernity. The walls and floors are all originally from the time of Franco.

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The team will do everything to make you feel comfortable and at home.

In fact the whole restaurant is made with this aim. So you will arrive in a lounge with sofas facing the bar where you can sip an original cocktail. As for the restoration, there are 4 different rooms and an outdoor courtyard. Which means that there are different moods : 

A small room was formerly a chapel; the main room can be divided into several parts, which allows making private events while keeping privacy for the rest of the clientele.

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Then in the back of the apartment, after the wine cellar you will find a room with a large round table perfect for family reunion or corporate dinners for example.

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And the must of the must, the hidden room in a classy but festive atmosphere, where you have the possibility to plug on your own music or project a movie on the wall, while sipping a cocktail or smoking a cigar. 

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Private dining room decorated with neon light and more than 1500 bottles on the ceiling

Everything is thought to allow the costumer to spend a good time and have a real experience, without breaking their wallet since the prices are still affordable for a gastronomic restaurant: 45 to 60 € for a menu. 

Now that you are immersed in the mood, I will highlight the backstage conditions :

In a costumer point of view we rarely think about what is going on in the kitchen.

If you want an impeccable service, the setting must be exceptional but the agreement in the kitchen must be good too. And this brigade of 10 people is doing just fine.

Directed by the chef Jaime Tejedor Carazo  to serve typical revisited Catalan cuisine, he is present 7 days out of 7 to train his team and serve up to 75 seats.

While talking with Jaime, we were able to learn a little bit more about his past and his future ambitions. Jaime discovered his passion for cooking during a stay in London, when he was learning English. He was looking for a job for his savings, when he started as a diver and evolved little by little. It was then, that he discovered his vocation. 

Returning to Spain, he did his internships in the Saüc and Manairó restaurants and triumphed with his own restaurant Libentia, which was honoured as a revelation restaurant in 2010 in Madrid Fusion. This experiment unfortunately did not work out for him so he had to close it definitively.

 However, he didn’t leave devastated nor with the slightest regret, his ambitions were instead to start again one day by not making the same mistakes as in the past. Unlike other chefs, his ambitions are focused on the human side and his passion. One example he gave us that could really illustrate this fact, is that he recently hired the bartender, passionate about cooking, but without any diploma and decided to train him.

At Rilke, he had the opportunity to work with chef Rafa Peña.

If you have to taste, his favourite dish is the potatoes parmentier with oyster.

Now, if we look at this restaurant from a marketing and communication side, we noticed some weak points:

The facade of the restaurant is not very visible, so it is difficult to attract new customers. But to remedy to this challenge, they are working with l5 stars hotels in order to attract their customers.

Regarding their presence on social networks, particularly Instagram, the Rilke page is doing pretty well with 2566 subscribers and 73 publications. In comparison with another visit we did in London at the Square restaurant, which has 1281 subscribers and 84 publications.

Nevertheless, chef Jaime himself has a private page with only 288 subscribers. The recommendation we can make in this regard would be to post more regularly and not just put the Rilke in # but tag it more regularly.

Again, in comparison with the chef Clement Leroy who directs the kitchen of the Square restaurant, which has a public page with only 432 publications and 3391 subscribers.

Jaime told us to be aware of the issues of social networks, but simply that he was not really comfortable with the concept and that his values ​​and ambitions did not go in the direction of “you saw me“.

Working in the field of hospitality or the industry of cooking has never been an ambition for me, but if I ever had to reconvert myself, I can assure you that I would give a lot to work with such a passionate chef, who is ready to share his skills and, who in addition to that, has so much savoir-vivre.

What we remember from this tour, rich in emotions, is to always believe in your dreams and fight really hard to get there, and that we always get stronger from a failure.

Which reminds me of Mandela’s quote I never loose or I learn or I win“. 

Check out the pictures on the Instagram page!

Margaux Noelmans

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