Delicious aromas, contrasting textures, creative sophistication and an amazing visual impact best describe Barcelona based pastry chef and chocolatier Oriol Balaguer’s Easter egg creations. Throughout our history, at the time of Easter, eggs have served as a symbol of rebirth and renewal, as forerunners of Spring. When chocolate became more affordable at the end of the 19th century, bird eggs were replaced by chocolate eggs. In the Third Millennium Oriol Balaguer has taken the art of egg crafting one step further. Each year he surprises us with his new show-stopper Easter egg collection. All his Easter Eggs are artisan works of art; it will be hard to find two eggs that exactly look the same.
Oriol’s chocolate compositions are inspired by contemporary design, art and architecture. Before committing himself totally to pâtisserie he briefly studied fine arts and that rubs off on his pâtisserie and chocolate crafting. His extraordinary command of raw materials, excellent design skills and technical precision allowed him to optimize the sophisticated form and design of his Easter Eggs. Oriol wants his chocolate eggs to tell a story, to be a sculpture of chocolate, to be more than a chocolate egg. Every year Oriol and his staff make 10 new designs. Highly researched and tested before coming into production they stand the test of time, Balaguer’s Easter Eggs became genuine classics over the years.
Oriol Balaguer’s priority is deliciousness. His goal is to get the best flavour out of the product. Flavour goes before visual impact he said several times in interviews. “It all starts with flavours”, though he likes to experiment, to combine flavours that are usually not in the mix together, like mustard in a pastry with cheese, cherries and strawberries. He likes to work with chocolate because of its delicate flavour. “We also have an olive oil chocolate and we start to use white chocolate again. I’ll use it with yuzu. When people taste that, they go crazy”.
Oriol Balaguer’s (1971) pastry chef father inspired him at a young age to enter the world of chocolate and pastry. He attended the Confectionary Trade School and worked in the best patisseries in Spain and Belgium before world-renowned chef and culinary genius Ferran Adrià hired him to work in El Bulli, where he worked for seven years. In an interview he said about his time at El Bulli: “At El Bulli, I did a lot of research and investigation. Now, I have freedom. I have more time to create my own designs… and brand.”
In 2002 he opened the Oriol Balaguer Chocolate & Confectionary Studio in Barcelona, his laboratory for thought, development and production, now extended with shops in Madrid and Japan, as well as distributors in Europe, Asia, Australia and the US. Similar to the fashion world he presents twice a year a new range of desserts and cakes for his Spring-Summer and Autumn-Winter collections. In 2010 he opened a new project in Barcelona, a bakery at the Carrer Benet Mateu called Classic Line.
Master confectioner Oriol Balaguer surprised and excited me when I visited his shop in Barcelona and he just might have the same effect on you. Proceed with caution though, the price might catch you off-guard too.
Oriol Balaguer Shop Barcelona
Pl. Sant Gregori Taumaturg, 2 / Travessera de les Corts, 340
08021 / 08029, Barcelona.
Oriol Balaguer Classic Line
Carrer Benet Mateu, 62