Somehow, Jordi Aros’s life has always revolved around one thing: cooking. First with a job in a kitchen as a teenager, later an apprenticeship as a chef and then Jordi Aros enhanced his cooking skills and gastronomical knowledge with the necessary management expertise. Jordi has worked alongside renowned chefs such as Martín Berasategui (three Michelin stars) or Joan Bosch (one Michelin star). He seemed to have found just the right recipe for his career. But then he went on a journey that changed everything.
Jordi Aros is Spanish, more precisely Catalan. Yet the chef from Barcelona is fascinated with another culture alongside his own: India. After Jordi returned from his journey through India, he decided to set out on a new adventure. This began in the cockpit of a Mercedes-Benz 406 D from the year 1973. This is like a journey through time. But let’s begin at the beginning…
India’s many different facets fascinated him from the outset, explains the Spanish chef. These range from the cultural diversity, the thronging activity on the streets of the major cities and, naturally, Indian cuisine. He absorbed the Indian culture like the many spices and aromas of the local foods. His fascination became a passion and ultimately a goal in his life: he decided to bring India’s traditional dishes to Europe. But how do you transport a sense of life in India to Barcelona alongside the delicious foods? In a van. With a food truck. Namely a Mercedes-Benz 406 D.
Together with his friends Dani Roca and Kuldeep Singh, both chefs, Jordi decided to go independent and take to the streets of Barcelona with a food truck. “We wanted to combine Indian and Catalan cuisine. We wanted to take our passion to the next level”, explains Jordi. After many years in the restaurant business, he intentionally decided against opening a restaurant. Because according to the Spanish chef, street food is the only way to authentically serve Indian cuisine. “For a chef, it is a privilege to personally hand over the food to a guest and have conversations with them”, says Jordi and smiles. This makes the cuisine and experience an emotional moment.
For a chef, it is a privilege to personally hand over the food to a guest and have conversations with them
Yet the vehicle and the name were still missing. Naturally, the idea revolved around India and its amazing cuisine. The trio quickly decided on the Hindi term “Masala”, the word describing a diverse range of Indian spice mixtures. But they needed more than just delicious food to win over the culinary connoisseurs: they needed to be unique. “We wanted to do more than just open a typical food truck. It had to be something special, a brand of its own with a sustainable, sophisticated and, above all, authentic product”, he says.
That is why the three Catalan chefs set out to find the perfect van to meet their professional needs. They eventually discovered the Mercedes-Benz van from 1973 and finally found the key to their independence. On a beach in Tarifa. Their friend, the artist Brusco, gave the van a green and yellow paint job with the low-brow art style and finally: Masala73 was ready to hit the road in Barcelona.
The three Spanish Chefs place great importance on quality and only ever use carefully selected ingredients. Something else he also learned in India: “They take plenty of time for cooking and eating in India”, says Jordi. “Good things take time.” When you travel through Barcelona today and passed by the massive Sagrada Família Cathedral or walk across La Rambla or along the seafront at La Barceloneta and you can smell coriander, caraway or fresh herbs then the Masala73 food truck is not far away. Jordi, Dani and Kuldeep are probably frying, grinding and cooking their Indian-Catalan delicacies and living their passion.