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Updated Thursday, February 22, 2024-00:07

  • Mythical dishes (I) The secrets of Lhardy consommé: 48 hours of cooking, thousands of liters a year and a ritual of almost two centuries

Everything is ready in Hevia's kitchen to start the day.

The neon on the facade of Serrano Street is on and behind the door you can see the waiters decanting.


and the team move almost like a synchronized swimming group in the small kitchen, renovated a few years ago.

It seems almost a miracle that from there they come out, in order and concert during a service, dishes with Russian salad, frog legs, hake cocochas, coruja salad, tripe, steak tartare, bean petals or one of the stars of the house , a golden ingot of

heavenly bacon


Hevia's is an interpretation of the classic recipe that was born in


in the 14th century thanks to the wines of the Cadiz town.

"Its origin is in the nuns of the convent of the Holy Spirit, who used the buds that the winegrowers did not use in the clarification of the wines, which they did with the whites," explains

Ismael Martín-Hevia

, third generation, together with his brother Fernando, in charge of the iconic Madrid restaurant.

Like the nuns, they only use three ingredients: water and sugar in the same proportion and



Lots of eggs.

A serving of the new version of tocino de cielo.EM

First thing in the morning, all the ingredients are ready for the kitchen to begin a simple preparation process, but which will not end with a portion of


on the table until 24 hours later.

The eggs are the fundamental piece.

They have to be of the best quality,

"from chickens that live well

," says Ismael.

They will be the key to achieving that yellow color and that special texture: neither soft, so that the bacon trembles, nor excessively hard.

"It has to be sweet," explains Ismael.

The first step is to achieve a


syrup , that is, when placed between the thumb and index finger, they open and form a small thread.

This is achieved by letting the syrup cool for about 10 minutes.

Beat the eggs,

"always with a whisk"

and add the syrup little by little.

Strain everything with a sieve, add it to a mold with a thin layer of caramel and cook it in a bain-marie.

What comes out of the oven is left to cool until the next day.

"The key is to know when the cooking is ready so as not to overdo it," adds Ismael.

This is what Wahi has been doing for years, ever since Ismael and


's parents decided to add this dessert to the menu.

"They were captivated by it a long time ago and wanted to incorporate it into the menu," he explains, "but with a special, delicate recipe."

The sweet quickly became a


in Hevia, and in Madrid, for its flavor and texture.

"Many customers are regulars at tocino de cielo, they ask when booking that we save a piece for them," says Ismael.

Two ways to 'touch' the sky

Hevia was founded by Ismael and Fernando's grandparents.

Coming from


, they poured into the Serrano establishment what they had learned on their travels, serving products such as

Russian caviar, smoked meats and French cheeses


"They opted for the concept of pintxo," recalls Ismael.

Her parents, in a second stage, "adapted Hevia to a restaurant format."

Ismael and Fernando are in charge of leading this third period, with a renovated space but that preserves its ancestry and does not renounce the


of Hevia: "Highest quality product with an impeccable presentation and an update point through "It's all about the experience of coming here."

Ismael and Fernando Martín-Hevia, third generation in charge of the restaurant.EM

This modernization can also be seen in the tocino de cielo itself.

The classic version is served alone, without any dressing.

Ismael and Fernando, the latter trained at

Le Cordon Bleu

, have added a second option to the menu: a small ingot with lime zest, Maldon salt and a couple of drops of olive oil: "It gives it a special touch."

There are no photos of filmmakers, politicians, athletes

or big businessmen

hanging on the walls of the restaurant .

And many of them have passed through there.

"Very famous people have come and the entire team knows that they don't ask for photos or autographs. We believe that it is a moment for their enjoyment, not for ours," says Ismael.

A few weeks away from turning


, Hevia will celebrate with, among other things, a special menu that they are still designing.

At the moment there is only one dish that is sure to be on the list: tocino de cielo.

"It won't be missed," says Ismael.