Juan Llorca - From haute cuisine to important cuisine

Juan Llorca - From haute cuisine to important cuisine

Juan Llorca, a reputable Valencian chef, is currently responsible of the food for Valencia Montessori School, the first school 100% Montessori in Valencia, and the first one in Spain with a KM0 Chef and with Slow Food seal, from 2015.
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We got struck by the story of this chef. After working in some of the most reputable Michelin star restaurants, Juan decided to change his life, leave it all behind and repurpose his passion, with a new approach. An inspiring story, that teaches us that sometimes our dreams are way too small, and that it is possible to change the lives of the people in unexpected ways.

Juan Llorca is a chef with more than 23 years of experience on his back, and, currently, passionate about children’s food and nutrition. He decided to start his entrepreneurial adventure 11 years ago and opened his own restaurant. Then one day, the principal of one of the most prestigious schools in Valencia had dinner at his place, and loved his cooking style. Thus, she proposed to Juan to direct the nutrition and food area in the new school that would open shortly in the city.

At first, he rejected the idea; he had invested a lot in his own project. Little by little, he made up his mind, as he understood how important good nutrition is for the kids – which are growing and developing – and he realized that he would work for greater and more important purpose.

Just like that, the Valencia Montessori School became the first school in Spain Slow Food certified.

One of Juan’s main objectives when he started this new project was to eliminate saturated fats and added sugars from the children’s diet. On the shelves of his kitchen you will find whole pasta, whole ecologic flour, nuts… Also chía seeds, one of the so-called “superfoods”, a label Llorca doesn’t quite like: he prefers to talk about “supernutrition”. Everyday he prepares the menu of the more than 250 pupils and employees of the school. He started with this project seven years ago, a bit insecure at the beginning, but nowadays his main purpose is that all the kids in every school eat healthy. “If I don’t manage to get there, I will retire”, he says.

What started with a challenge is now his passion. Because of this, Juan is working in different related projects. He cooperates with the Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer, and he is ambassador of Proyecto Juntos, a non profit organization against child’s cancer. He is also advisor and teacher in different schools that want to improve their food and ways of cooking. He of course, leads his own restaurant and starter of the initiative #porunaescuelabiennutrida.

And he still finds time for other activities: he manages the cooking school The Wholesome Kitchen. He writes, has his own Youtube channel, he is a public speaker, and in 2016 he won the “Blogger of the Year” prize given by the Kitchen Channel.

Last but not least, due to his track record, he was Valencia’s ambassador in 2017, year in which the city became sustainable food capital.

To learn more about Juan Lorca and his project visit:

juanllorca.com

Sources:

elmundo.es

elpais.com

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