On the eve of this year’s Easter festivities, Fets restaurant opened its doors in the Cabanyal – Canyamelar neighborhood of Valencia. In a short time it has become one of the pleasant surprises of Valencian gastronomy. Media outlets have already echoed this novelty that comes to complement, with its original and traveling touches, the gastronomic offer of a neighborhood in full swing.
Behind Fets we find Junajo Gallart, alumni of the Bachelor’s Degree in Gastronomy at Gasma – CEU Cardenal Herrera University. Beside him, Federico LoBue, a friend, class colleage, and cooking companion.
We spoke with Juanjo about this project, another one in his meteoric career as a gastronomic entrepreneur. A project that “represents the reward for many months of effort”.
What can we find in this space?
We tried to define Fets as a cuisine without labels. A place where we have a great time cooking and a place we would like to eat. Both Fede and I are unconsciously shaping our entire journey and history in the form of dishes. The whole concept of the menu is designed to share and enjoy in company.
A menu that exudes originality and that entails a revision of the land, sea and orchard trinomial. Its version of salad with smoked eel and hollandaise sauce, its magnificent steak tartare on leeks, mascarpone and gravy, the power of squid with mole or artichokes with beurre blanc, Joselito cured bacon and herring roe are just examples of what you can find at Fets.
To start a project during one of the most complicated times for the industry… do you have to be a bit crazy or be very clear about it?
Well, actually a bit of both! When you start a gastronomic business, you have to be very clear about both the what and the how. Of course, I do not deny that you have to add a bonus of madness. At the end of the day it is the one that allows you to continue rowing, even if it is against the current.
Fets is the latest gastronomic business you have launched, but not the only one. Where does this entrepreneurial spirit come from?
In me, this is born innately and it actually entertains me. I enjoy setting challenges for myself and every little achievement gives me enormous satisfaction. In the end, you realize that anything is possible as long as you are constant and never stop training. To me, entrepreneurship has meant sacrificing many things, but in the end, seeing your ideas, values, illusions embodied in a project makes everything make sense.
What can you tell us about the other projects?
I started with a catering line called Abuela Carmela (in honor of my grandmother) The project was born from a project that I had to do during my degree of a fictitious business. When doing the project I asked myself why not make it happen. It was a beautiful project, super fun and with which we managed to provide service even outside of Valencia, in Madrid and Barcelona. We were also running a food truck from La Abuela.
The next project was DiecisieteVeintisiete, which is still active. I had the opportunity to open a restaurant in my town (Bronchales-Teruel). A beautiful venue was left in the middle of the mountain without someone to manage it. I felt super capable and motivated to start something different there, and the project has been very well received.
He finally started Fets a little over a month ago. It is without a doubt my most personal project and I am very proud to see how it begins to write its story.
Each project has a very strong personality. Where do these ideas come from?
A couple of years ago I gave a talk about entrepreneurship for a group of Italian students at Gasma and I concluded that you don’t have to force ideas into the market, but adapt them or find another market for them. In all these projects I have started from an idea, I have studied the market and I have refined the idea so that it adapts to it. I would be lying if I said that entrepreneurship is easy, it is not. But risks are always minimized by knowing why you do things, where and when you do them.
Studying a Bachelor’s Degree in Gastronomy that offers a global vision of the profession, does facilitate promoting a gastronomic business?
Of course! Opening a hospitality business is very complicated. Luckily, Gasma has given me the necessary tools to make everything a little less complex.
What knowledge acquired during your training do you consider that helps you the most in the professional world?
In my case all the knowledge related to the company. Perhaps I would also highlight the fact of sharing the classroom with students from so many different cultures and so gastronomically motivated. This experience makes your curiosity and desire to learn constant.
In Fets you take another step in your relationship with Ambar beers. What has this connection meant for your career?
I am very grateful to them. They bet on me and granted me a scholarship to study the Gastronomy Degree in Gasma. Over time, I have had the chance to get to know the brand from within and fall in love with it. When I told them about Fets they went overboard with me. They are being a great support beyond the purely professional. Many of them have become friends.
In the kitchen you are accompanied by Federico Lo Bue, a colleague at Gasma. What does he bring to Fets?
Fets exists thanks to all the team behind it and Fede is a fundamental pillar within the kitchen, within the entire staff and a great friend. Fede has accompanied me from the Foodtruck, in DiecisieteVeintistete and now, without hesitation, he came to Fets as soon as I told him about it. He contributes a lot and I hope we walk a long time together.