故事19 | Pol: A pastry chef in China

       
我在中国的家 2022
故事19 | Pol: A pastry chef in China

My name is Pol Anter Campdepadrós and I am a pastry chef in China. I was born in the beautiful town of Terrassa, Spain, 32 years ago, and I’ve been a pastry chef for the past 11 years. I started at a restaurant, and from there I went on to work at a hotel and then at a school. I have done a little bit of everything, but always related to pastry making. Since I was little, our kitchen has been the center of our home, and we have always prepared home-made meals. My sister Carla is also a professional chef, and both she and I grew up helping our parents cook, make desserts, cakes… So, since I was little, I was certain I wanted to end up working in the kitchen.

我叫 Pol Anter Campdepadrós,是一名在中国的糕点师。32 年前,我出生于西班牙美丽的城市塔拉萨。过去的 11 年里,我一直从事糕点制作。起初,我在餐馆工作,然后是酒店,接着是学校。我什么都工作都尝试过,但总不离糕点制作。小时候,厨房就是我们家的中心,我们总是亲自下厨。我的姐姐 Carla 也是一名专业厨师,我们小时候都会帮父母做饭、做甜点、做蛋糕……因此,小时候的我就确定,未来想在厨房工作。

When I finished high school, I decided to study at a cooking school in Manresa called Joviat and specialized in pastry cooking during my last year. That is where I met Aleix, a classmate who ended up marking the direction of my destiny.

高中毕业时,我决定在曼雷萨的一所名为 Joviat 的烹饪学校学习,在最后一年专攻糕点制作。在那里我遇到了 Aleix,他是我的同学,为我指明了命运的航向。

After I finished my studies I worked for a year at a Michelin star restaurant in Spain. The owner of the restaurant had a friend in France who owned a hotel with his husband and recommended me to go work with them. So my first international experience was in France for a year.

从烹饪学校毕业后,我在西班牙的一家米其林餐厅工作了一年。餐厅老板在法国有一个朋友,和丈夫开了一家酒店,推荐我去他们酒店工作。因此,我到法国工作了一年,这是我第一次出国。

After that, I returned to Spain, and the next stop was China in 2013. After graduation, my classmate went directly to work in Beijing at “Migas”, a Mediterranean restaurant. One day he called me because they were hiring a pastry chef. I did not think twice! I had nothing to lose, so I came straight away. What started as a year in Beijing, ended up being 5!

之后,我回到了西班牙。2013 年,我来到了中国,这是我出国的第二站。我同学毕业后直接去了北京的米家思 (Migas) 餐厅工作,那是一家地中海餐厅。一天,他打电话告诉我,他们餐厅正在招聘一名糕点师。我没有多想就去应聘了。我没有什么可失去的,所以我义无反顾地来到了北京。一晃我已经在北京呆了五年!

By then, I balanced work at the restaurant with the pastry classes at a school in Beijing. The owner of the school and I became good friends and I realized I really enjoyed teaching. So, my boss and I made a deal and I worked with her for 4 years.

那时,我一边在餐厅工作,一边在北京一所学校教授糕点制作。校长和我成了好朋友,我发现我真的很喜欢教学。所以,我和老板达成协议,在她的学校工作 4 年。

During an ordinary holiday I went home to Terrassa and my sister gave me a great surprise… She gave me a simple box which had a message in code: a pacifier! You can imagine how excited I was. That encouraged me to return to Spain to be closer to my family, meet my niece and stay in Barcelona for a while. What I missed the most was Chinese food!

一次假期,我回到了塔拉萨的家,姐姐给了我一个巨大的惊喜……她给了我一个普通的盒子,里面放着一个奶嘴,这是一个暗号!你知道吗?我当时有多么兴奋。所以我想回到西班牙,与家人更亲近,见一见我的外甥,在巴塞罗那住上一段时间。当时我最怀念的是中国的美食!

I lived in Barcelona for two years and I tried to work as a teacher, but I needed to go on studying, so I started a course in kitchen management, while I stayed in touch with my boss from China. Our friendship was so strong that she even traveled to Spain with my students. I invited them to my home, and we went out to dinner… During their visit, she offered me an opportunity to return to China and work at her school. When I finished my higher studies, I decided to go back to China for the adventure, because in China, there are always so many things going on! So in February 2021, I went back to Beijing for three months, and in May, my boss entrusted me with opening her school in Xiamen.

我在巴塞罗那住了两年,我想当老师,但我仍需要继续学习,因此我开始了厨房管理课程,同时,我与中国老板也保持联系。我们的友谊非常深厚,她甚至带着我的学生去西班牙。我邀请他们来我家做客,一起出去吃饭……他们拜访我的时候,老板给了我一个机会,让我回到中国,在她的学校工作。我学成之后,决定回到中国继续我的冒险,因为在中国每天都有奇妙的事情发生!我决定留在中国工作。2021 年 2 月,我回到北京,呆了三个月。5 月,老板委托我在厦门开设学校。

Ah, Xiamen. I had no clue how hard I would fall for this city. I wanted to stay. When I swim in the sea, I feel like life is amazing, floating there. When I dive in the ocean, everything else disappears and I am the happiest person in the world. In Xiamen, the mountain is 5 minutes away, and the sea, 20 minutes away. There are lakes… I am not from Barcelona city but from Terrassa, which is a big city but feels like a small town, so Xiamen was the ideal place for me. It’s a pity that my romance with Xiamen was so brief. Due to the pandemic, the pastry school in Xiamen didn’t work well, so I had to look for other opinions. I only lived in that city for three months, but that made me realize how much I loved life in the South of China.

啊,厦门。我不知道我有多喜欢这座城市。我想留下来。我在海里游泳的时候,会觉得生活太美好了,只需要漂浮在海上。我在海里潜水的时候,所有烦恼都消失了,感觉我是世界上最幸福的人。在厦门,5 分钟就能看到山,20 分钟就能看到海。这里还有湖泊……我不是来自巴塞罗那,而是来自塔拉萨,那是一个大城市,但跟厦门比起来,就像一个小镇,所以厦门是我的理想之地。遗憾的是,我与厦门的“恋情”是如此短暂。由于疫情影响,厦门的糕点学校运作不畅,所以我不得不另谋生路。虽然我只在厦门生活了三个月,却让我意识到我真的非常热爱中国南方的生活。

A good Basque friend helped me share my CV with his contacts and I could choose among options like Shanghai, Xi’an, or Guangzhou. I opted for working at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Guangzhou, also in the South of China, in love as I was with the coasts of the South and the tropical temperatures. I was very lucky and the truth is I am really happy with the city, the team, the hotel, and the position.

一位好朋友(他是巴斯克人)帮我把简历发给与他的联系人,我可以在上海、西安或广州选择就业机会。我选择了在广州的丽思卡尔顿酒店工作,广州也是中国南部城市,我爱上了南方的海岸和热带的温度。我非常幸运,我对这座城市、我们的团队、我们的酒店和我的工作都非常满意。

As a curious piece of information, in China the most popular sweets are not as sweet as in European or French style desserts. Usually, at the hotel, I am free to do whatever I want, although lighter desserts are preferred here like chocolate creams or mousse. Sometimes I am asked to prepare typical local desserts from Canton. In that case, I ask for help from the local team and they guide me. They give me their honest opinion about the taste, etc. Also, for the hotel buffet, we prepare very special Chinese desserts, such as a sweet cold soup with dried dates, goji berries and snow mushrooms called “红枣雪耳糖水” (hóngzǎoxuě’ěrtángshuǐ, literally sweetened water with snow fungus and jujube). It may not sound too appealing for the Western palate, but the truth is that it is very successful here and it is very nutritious.

在中国,最受欢迎的甜品并不像欧洲或法国风格的甜品那样甜,这真是太奇怪了。在酒店,我可以自由地做我想做的甜点,但是这里的人们更喜欢轻甜点,比如巧克力奶油或慕斯。有时候,有人希望我做广东特色甜点。这时我会向当地的团队寻求帮助,他们会耐心指导我,给我口味方面的意见。此外,我们为酒店的自助餐准备了非常特别的中国甜点,例如用干枣、枸杞和雪耳制作的清凉甜汤,叫做“红枣雪耳糖水”(字面意思是用雪耳和红枣制作的糖水)。对于西方人来说,这名字听起来可能不太诱人,但是在这里却十分受欢迎,而且非常有营养。

Although I miss my family so much, I know that China has given me great opportunities and coming here was a wise choice. If I went back in time and were asked again if I would come to China, I would say “absolutely yes!” China is very cool. Of course, it has its things, like everywhere else. I would choose this experience again. Culturally we are very different and that is shocking at first. But that is the beauty of adapting to differences, and seeing that in the end, we are not so different.

虽然我非常想念家人,但我知道中国给了我很多机遇,来这里是一个明智的选择。如果时光倒流,再问我是否会来中国,我会说:“一定会!”中国太棒了。当然,它也有和其他国家共通的东西。我会再次选择来到中国。我们的文化天差地别,一开始这令我摸不着头脑。但是适应这种差异,也能获得美的感受。最终,我们明白我们之间差异也不是那么大。

From here I want to encourage people who study cooking to take the step and come to China if they have the chance. Home is always a place to go back to and it’s not going anywhere. So, anywhere in the world can become your home. It’s a good idea to visit different places, as you never know which one you will like the most.

我想鼓励学习烹饪的人迈出这一步。如果他们有机会,就来中国。家永远是一个可以依赖的港湾,它一直在那儿。因此,世界上任何地方都可以成为你的家。你应该拜访世界各地,因为你永远不知道你最喜欢哪个地方。

And if you need one more reason, Chinese food is amazing!

如果你需要一个来中国理由,我想说,中国的美食太棒啦!


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