Where chefs shop: Carme Ruscalleda

A Barcelona shopping guide from the superchef

Carme Ruscalleda is one of the world’s most respected chefs and the Gastronomic Advisor at Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona



With seven Michelin stars to her name ­– more than any other woman – chef Carme Ruscalleda is celebrated for reinventing contemporary Catalan cuisine, and bringing Asian flavours to Spanish palates. As Gastronomic Advisor for Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, she heads up the show-stopping Moments restaurant — famed for its imaginative tasting menus and its two Michelin Stars — and the hotel’s more casual restaurant, Blanc. Here, she shares her insider guide on where to shop in Barcelona for food and more.

For nuts, jams and spices 

Casa Gispert is a food store in the centre of the city, which I love. It was founded in 1851 and is one of the oldest shops in Barcelona. Artisan nuts, jams and spices are a few of the products on offer and a lot of their business these days is gift baskets packed full of their products.”

For herbs and spices 

“When an entire shop devotes itself to a vast range of subtle variations of flavour, I know I am among friends. That shop is Herboristeria del Rei on Carrer Vidre. I’ve spent my life curing and experimenting with charcuterie, and this shop has enriched it beyond measure.”

For kitchen gadgets

“Chefs always dream of finding the perfect knife and the place to find it is at Ganiveteria Roca on Plaça del Pi. A master knife-maker opened it more than 100 years ago, and it’s famous as a specialist knife shop, but sells all manner of kitchen utensils – there are chic gadgets and curiosities, even for those who don’t obsess over precision slicing.”

For candles

“Cereria Subirà (+34 933 15 26 06) on Baixada de la Llibreteria bills itself as Barcelona’s oldest shop, and is affectingly timeless. An array of different type, size and colour candles drag you back centuries, as you imagine monks committing the sin of candle-coveting. Elegant modern scented candles are irresistible; you’ll leave smelling like Shakespeare’s Ophelia.” 

For handcrafted hats

“If you love to leave a place with one memento you couldn’t have bought anywhere else in the world, Sombrerería Obach on Carrer Call is a total treasure trove; expect rakish berets, traditional barretines and caps that make you look like a film star.”

For music

Casa Beethoven on La Rambla is a place to browse, delve, turn up interesting scores, and disappear into the lives and loves of great composers, forgotten impresarios, flautists, theorists and fiddlers. Founded well over a century ago, it is known for unusual finds as well as the Greats.”

For oenophiles

“I adore the artistry and idiosyncrasy of heritage vineyards: Vila Viniteca is much more than a feast for the eyes, though. Wines, cavas, sherries and liqueurs jostle for attention in this exquisite snapshot of Spanish and international wine-making.” 

Immerse yourself in Barcelona…

With an atmospheric setting on the famous Passeig de Gràcia, Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona is located near all of Barcelona’s major attractions. Contemporary interiors, a Michelin-starred restaurant and a fantastic spa make it the perfect base from which to explore the Catalan capital.