What is ‘Mini’ experiences its best moment in a presentation at Lasarte in Barcelona
Photos: Carlos Allende
Surrounded by friends, collaborators, and the media, Xavi Donnay presented his first book “Mini” accompanied by Martin Berasategui and, myself, Jaume Cot, in the lobby of the Monument Hotel, next to the Lasarte restaurant in Barcelona. In a cozy and relaxed atmosphere, the pastry chef of the three-starred restaurant exhibited the values of a book that is as necessary as it is unique.
Martín Berasategui kicked off a presentation act in which he wanted to show his affection and admiration for Donnay. For Martín, the talent and desire for self-improvement of his restaurant pastry specialist is such that he deserves a book and much more. Enthusiastic by nature, he valued his professional, creative side, but especially his human side. After drawing the colors from Xavi Donnay, I, as the publishing manager of the book, was in charge of reviewing some of the most outstanding aspects of “Mini”.
In the book we find from the desire to satisfy an existing publishing void, since there are no current petit four-type confectionery or pastry books, to the opportunity to reflect the brilliant work that Xavi Donnay has been developing at Lasarte for more than a decade. Everything indicated that Mini would become the faithful reflection of a thoughtfully worked-on system that also covers all imaginable products in a bite size, always under the contemporary and personal gaze of Donnay and with extremely detailed photography by Jordi Foto.
The winner of the title of Best Pastry Chef in the World (Best Chef Awards 2020) makes a spectacular tour of brilliant creations grouped into eight families that make it easy to consult the book. Petit fours of a lifetime such as sablés, bonbons, or macarons change their appearance in Donnay’s hands, totally modernizing his presence. Leafing through the book, the potential of the small size is better understood, dimensions by which any dessert that comes to mind can be made. For this reason, pastry classics such as Saint Honoré, Mont Blanc, or the irresistible xuixos have their mini version in the book.
Another of the most interesting chapters of the book is entirely dedicated to “-free” products, creations which are suitable for a public with special needs such as gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan. And as if that were not enough, the book is completed with proposals signed by professionals invited by Xavi Donnay to show an even more varied repertoire of proposals. Saray Ruiz and Eric Ortuño joined us as participants in the book, although it also includes “minis” by Martin Lippo, Miquel Guarro, and Jean Sivieude.
The last reflection that I thought would be appropriate to highlight in connection with “Mini” is the undeniable beauty of that which is tiny due to the simple fact of being meticulously made. If we consider the saying “what is good, when it is brief, is twice as good” as fair, with Mini we reach a conclusion that goes even further, “what is beautiful, if it is small, is twice as beautiful”.
Luckily for all attendees, the presentation was not just words, speeches, and the possibility of leafing through the book or taking it home dedicated by the author, we were also able to enjoy a spectacular snack in which many of the creations contained in the book could be tasted. The Madeleine black sesame giandujas, the avocado bonbon, the “red” strawberry, the tiramisu bites, the chocolate, almond and miso choux, the irresistible mini xuixos or the classic pastéis de Belém and cannelés cakes, as well as a good rhum babá and accompanied by a light cream of cream (also deserving of a cover in DPAS magazine). A repertoire of incredible sweets with which Donnay demonstrated that he develops the great potential of these sweet jewels in his day-to-day life, not just on paper.