Text: Rodrigo García Fernández /©ICEX
Translation: Jenny McDonald /©ICEX
Photographer: Spanish pastry chef Enric Rovira. Marc Vergés
Creating, designing, innovating - a trio of verbs to describe Enric Rovira's activity on the Barcelona chocolate scene. He shares his position at the head of this avant-garde movement with names such as Oriol Balaguer, Jordi Butrón and Christian Escribá. Together, with their futuristic takes on patisserie and confectionery, they pay tribute to the city's sweet traditions.
And it was tradition that initially led Enric Rovira to choose the world of chocolate. His parents Enric and Trini had an old-style store selling buns, pastries and cakes and that was where he had his first inklings of his future vocation. But not for him the tried and tested formula. As a child, Enric had enjoyed manual activities - modeling, photography - and he had enormous creativity that needed to be suitably channeled. The solution he found was chocolate and candy.
On leaving school, the young Enric signed up to study computing, spurred by his interest in creating new applications. But he soon realized this was not what he wanted and returned to the family business. He started attending seminars led by Spanish and French master pastry chefs and gradually discovered a new means of expression. So he devised his own path, finding a goal for his creativity, and chose chocolate as the best raw material for creating, designing and innovating.
In 1993, with a partner, he set up the company Enric Rovira, selling products in which he combined new ways of mixing chocolate using ingredients that were new to the world of confectionery, with packaging design and the R&D concept as applied to chocolates. Cakes and pastries were set aside to concentrate on chocolate. He built up an international reputation, not only selling his creations outside Spain, but also teaching on courses in Germany, France and other countries. His products are now available through his Barcelona store and also in delicatessens in the rest of the European Union, South Africa, Canada, US and Japan.
He brings out a new collection every year, and collaborates with sculptors, painters, designers, ceramists and artisans on his chocolate creations. Enric is certainly a hard worker but above all he is fascinated by the human capacity to create and surprise. And if this can be done with chocolate, all the better.