The Pep Guardiola-backed Catalan kitchen will launch on Friday 20th July
As Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola looks this summer to improve his Premier League title-winning team, he'll also be helping to improve the city's casual dining scene, with a new Catalonian signing for King Street.
First revealed in Confidential back in January, Tast Cuina Catalana (roughly translated as ‘Taste from the Catalan Kitchen') is a new Catalan-inspired restaurant from the Fazenda group, backed by Guardiola and fellow Spanish-born MCFC top brass, Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain.
Paco’s reputation is immense and we will serve some of his and Pep’s favourite Catalan dishes
With a menu created by multi-Michelin starred chef Paco Perez (Miramar in Girona, Enoteca Paco Pérez in Barcelona, Cinco in Berlin), the 120-cover, three-storey restaurant is due to launch on Friday 20th July, with one of Paco's proteges, Miquel Villacrosa, installed as head chef.
Formerly the head chef at Restaurant Cinco in Berlin, after a year spent at Miramir, Villacrosa, 27, is a Catalan himself, who cut his teeth working in his parents' restaurant in Sant Hilari Sacalm - a small mountain town near Girona.
“Sant Hilari Sacalm is a small town, lost in the mountains, with a lot of water, mushroom culture and gamey gastronomy – so you can imagine how shocked I was on my first time to Miramar," says Villacrosa. "I fell in love with Paco’s vision of cuisine and of how he was as a chef and as a person – he cared for me like no one before.
“I consider myself an ambitious person and a passionate learner, who never gives up, who tries to be a good leader and to do things a bit better every day, as Paco has taught me. When he asked me to be head chef in Manchester it was a challenge I just had to accept.”
Despite Paco's pedigree, bosses are keen to stress that Tast will not be chasing awards, but will instead focus on creating a 'warm and friendly' space which celebrates the best of Catalan food and wine, from its world-renowned seafood to it's world-beating wines, including Montsant and Priorat.
Fazenda director Robert Melman said: “We are hugely excited to be working with these amazing creative talents. Catalonia has a distinctive identity and culture from that of Spain and our ambition is to introduce people to its wonderful tastes and flavours.
"Paco’s reputation is immense and we will serve some of his and Pep’s favourite Catalan dishes, both traditional and with innovative modern twists.”
Tast Cuina Catalana, 20-22 King Street Manchester, M2 6AG. You can book from 1st July on 0161 806 0547 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @tastcatala on Twitter for updates.