Nandu Jubany: “The pandemic has given me a croquette factory. I sell 12 million a year”
Nandu Jubany (Monistrol de Calders, Barcelona, 52 years old) says that the first time he cooked he was 10 years old. She wanted to save to buy a motorcycle. He was going to be a motocross rider, but at 13 he broke his knee, and his father advised him to focus on the family restaurant, of which he was head chef five years later. He has passed through the kitchens of the mythical Cabo Mayor, in Madrid, those of Arzak, the Bodegón Alejandro, with Martín Berasategui, or those of Carles Caig. In 1995 he opened Can Jubany with his wife, Anna Orte, in Calldetenes (Barcelona), with a Michelin star and three Repsol suns. With the new century he expanded the business. He has, so far, 10 stores spread across Barcelona, Andorra, Formentera, Ibiza and Singapore. He has taught lessons on making emulsions and aioli in the Science & Cooking course at Harvard University. He employs more than 450 people and last year had a turnover of 28 million euros. We chatted at full speed with him moments before his presentation on truffles at Madrid Fusión.
Ask. Didn’t you want to dedicate yourself to cooking?
Answer. I am part of the third generation of cooks. The kitchen had stolen my parents, who were in the restaurant all day. It was their life, they spent many hours. And in the end it has been my job and my life too. I do not separate one thing from the other. I can do everything I do because my wife is always in Can Jubany, she is the one who guards the castle.
Q. Doesn’t it bother customers that I’m not in the restaurant?
R. I would like to be much more, but the important thing is that there is a team, that there is a soul, that represents me, and, above all, not disappointing the client with expectations. There are cooks who are always there because they have sold that, and I see it as normal. The important thing is who pays the bill. I need to do many things, I can’t be still. Even when I’m in bed I move.
Q. In the pandemic, he revolutionized Instagram with his family recipes.
R. And from there came new businesses. The pandemic has given me a croquette factory. In 2022 we sold 12 million and we have more than 50 people making croquettes and cannelloni. We are doing well. We also made the book Recipes to share with the family, with the illustrations of my son Eudald, of which we have already sold 30,000 copies. In the end, everything I touch I turn into a business.
Q. But the croquettes are giving him joy.
R. We sell eight million only to the Ametller Origen supermarkets. Also to the BM chain, and 120,000 units are made to Marks & Spencer, who have asked us to also prepare chorizo and paella.
R. The English like these mixtures. There are chefs there who make chorizo paella and they love it. The chorizo is Spain. And the paella, too. We work with the Marks & Spencer R&D team, and if they ask me for something, we adapt it to their tastes.
Q. Very practical.
R. More than a cook, I am an entrepreneur. We have grown thanks to events. My parents did weddings, and we have continued doing them because we are good at it. We have been called to advise Finca Montesqueiro in Oleiros (A Coruña) on this type of celebration. In June we will have another Pecador restaurant in Barcelona, a meat and vegetable grill, different from the one in Ibiza. This is going to be more of warm colors, in the style of Marrakech. And there will be a local room in Formentera. But first, we will open another restaurant in Andorra with the Hincha formula, in Messi’s hotel chain (it is MIM, the brand developed by the Argentine soccer star and the Majestic group). In December we will open another one in Baqueira, and there will be one more in Sotogrande.
Q. Is allying with Messi a guarantee of success?
R. Only if you do it right. Who wouldn’t want to do something business with Messi?
Q. Is Madrid not one of your priorities?
R. It does not give me the life to open a store in Madrid. It is a difficult place, where there are great businesses and gastronomic experiences. I like the city to enjoy it. We have tried to sell the croquettes in a supermarket, but they have found them expensive.
Q. In Catalonia they don’t look at the price?
R. It seems not. In Barcelona we have made a mark with this type of supermarket. It has not been the classic agreement, the one you sign with a brand and ignore it.
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