Fina Puigdevall was born and raised in the town of Olot which is just north of Girona in Catalonia. The town is located on a plain and surrounded by mountain ranges. The presence of four volcanoes with a lot of volcanic materials spread around not only helps to give personality to the landscape, it also adds personality and style to the charming and talented cook with ambition far beyond the local bistro. Fina Puigdevall turned the home she grew up in into a top rated restaurant. Her mother lives on the top floors in the main building while the first floor is used for fine dining, conferences and accommodation.
It is impossible to talk about Les Cols without mentioning its unique design. The Catalonian RCR Architects and its founding partners Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramón Vilalta have done a fantastic job when it comes to creating an avant-garde venue of wrought iron and steel out of a fifteenth century farmhouse. The steel gold lacquered furniture is neither the most practical nor comfortable, but the cool factor is high.
Fina Puigdevall opened up her Les Cols in May 1990 and since then the property and restaurant have developed into something definitely worth a detour for anyone seeking a dining experience beyond the ordinary. Fina uses few elements in her cooking; she likes to remove everything that she considers not to be essential without losing the essential poetry. The food served is light and made of few ingredients with a focus on the local region’s traditional vegetables and poultry such as duck and chicken. Fina will offer you her interpretation of the local ingredients such as buckwheat, potato, sweetcorn, white beans, ratafia, wild river trout, snails, wild boar, truffles, sweet chestnuts, turnips, wild mushrooms, herbs and flowers. The chickens just outside the big windows of the main dining room are used for eggs and for eating. And outside the windows you will also notice the organic garden where most of the herbs and vegetables are coming from.
You can also have dishes with a more marine theme such as the salt cod brandade and the rice with squids, but the best dishes are those made of the most local produce such as the pumpkin in five different ways with black olive oil, a dish which plays around your taste buds with different textures and flavours.
Fina Puigdevall has created a dinner experience which is truly worth noticing. Today both her daughters and husband, Restaurant Manager Manel Puigvert, offer some of the best nueva cocina in the region, surrounded by avant-garde designs nowhere else to be found.
Written by Andy