September 20, 2023


The most intimate and personal side of Cristina Oria

Chef, entrepreneur, mother and friend. Cristina Oria, who has over 300,000 followers on her Instagram profile, is passionate about cooking and eating well. With her career laid out before her, in 2008 she decided to embark on a new challenge and went to study at Le Cordon Bleu. In the interview below, Cristina Oria lets Porcelanosa into her new kitchen to reveal her most intimate and personal side.

- Who is Cristina Oria? What's she like in the kitchen? Tell us a little more about yourself.

First and foremost, I see myself as a mother of three children. I am very much a family person: I like spending time with my children, my husband, my parents, my siblings. In my spare time I love gardening, picking the vegetables and then cooking them with my children. I also like travelling, relating destinations to gastronomy. I have a pretty simple, family-oriented life.

- You run four restaurants, a catering firm and have a project in progress. What is the essence of the Cristina Oria (CO) brand and what are you looking to convey through it?

Affordable luxury is what characterises CO. We've always wanted to give the best quality at a reasonable price. To do this, we're very particular with the packaging, the purchasing process, the customer experience in the shop and the after-sales service. In short, we like to mind every little detail; to have the customer feel reassured and well taken care of throughout the process.

"At CO, we like to mind every little detail; to have the customer feel reassured and well taken care of throughout the process"

- What do you value most when choosing the materials that accompany all your projects? And for the kitchen, your work place?

One of our rules at CO is to have the highest quality products. In the kitchen, the best dishes are made with the best ingredients. The same applies to the composition and design of a room like the kitchen: if you invest in higher quality materials, it will be much more durable, it will turn out nicer and you will cook better.

"If you invest in higher quality materials, you will cook better"

My husband, Álvaro, is a forestry engineer. He loves everything about materials and we really like the authenticity of nature. That's why we wanted a marble that was natural stone, so that when you touch it, you feel the texture and quality of the stone. I think we hit the design on the head and the end result is spectacular.

- Talk to us about your choice of Altissima natural stone by XTONE for your professional projects: Morata de Tajuña and the recent restaurant and gourmet shop in San Sebastián.

In the San Sebastián shop, when we took down the plasterboard covering the walls, it revealed a marble very similar to the one we had chosen from Altissima. The combination of the two was perfect, yielding a place with a different and unique interior design. We always strive for authenticity in our projects, for uniqueness, to represent our image and take you to a special place.

- Tell us a little more about your projects, especially Morata de Tajuña. What does Morata mean to you? How is it related to your other professional projects?

I use the kitchen in Morata in two ways: as a work space and also as a second residence. On weekdays, I use this kitchen to create content with recipes that I then publish on social media. Therefore, the look of the space has to be impeccable, which is why we made a white and black kitchen, very corporate with Altissima as a worktop. And on weekends, it's our family place where we spend the whole day. In fact, the kitchen connects to the living room and there are stools at the worktop where there's always someone sitting, helping me or snacking, while I cook.

-Just a couple of months ago you set out to expand the brand with a new restaurant and business in San Sebastián. What motivated you to expand C.O. to the capital of Guipuzcoa?

I chose San Sebastián because it's a city I love. Gastronomically, it's a challenge, since there was no space like ours in the city. Then, most importantly, my family is from there: my parents are from San Sebastián and I wanted the first opening outside Madrid to be more sentimental. In financial terms, it might have been more logical to choose larger cities, but I was very drawn to that nostalgia and I was especially excited by San Sebastian. I love going in summer. We've been spending summers with the kids there, and it's our way of combining family and work: having the business, but also being together as a family in a place we like.

-Another recent professional project of yours was the publication of your own cookbook, “Mis recetas favoritas para hacer en casa” (My favourite recipes to make at home). Tell us a little more about that. where did the idea of writing your own cookbook come from? What will the reader find in it?

In the months during the lockdown, I published a lot of recipes. We already had a project with ESPASA to make a very special book, something more refined. During the pandemic, we started making lots of recipes at home and Álvaro took some spectacular photos, since he loves photography and he's taken a course. Then I told him: "Hey, Álvaro, how about we do the book ourselves here on lockdown?" We made the recipes to try them at home, but first we took a picture, and that's how it came about. It was a lockdown book. About this new book, we're already thinking about our next book launch.

- You're going through a high point in your career. Could you tell us how you see the C.O. brand evolving in ten years?

Anytime I'm asked this, I say I have no short-term projects, and in the end new projects always come up. But anyway, I want the brand to become a benchmark in the market, to have a good team - that's the most important thing for a brand to survive and thrive- to grow it gradually with a solid plan.

We also want to expand online a lot, making more of our own decoration products - which we design and manufacture - available. And finally, stay committed to local produce, expand our orchards and do our part to make this a better world.

- Last, but not least, how do you see the relationship between gastronomy and design/aesthetics?

Personally, I can't imagine gastronomy without design. I think gastronomy doesn't depend on just one sense, like taste, although that's obviously very important. In gastronomy, it's a given that whatever you eat has to be good. A dish must captivate you with the other senses, and sight is naturally important, it has to appeal to you visually. When the place you're in is cosy, it fills you and is pretty, it rounds out the whole experience, making it complete.

"I can't imagine gastronomy without design, because I don't think it depends on a single sense"

The 10 benefits of Altissima natural stone

The worktop in Cristina Oria's weekend home, Morata de Tajuña, offers a series of benefits and characteristics that make it durable and easy to maintain. The result is a surface that turns into the perfect space for cooking and enjoying time together with family and friends.

  • It prevents the absorption of liquids and inhibits the build-up of odours thanks to its low porosity.

  • Durable surfaces with reusable materials, making them fully recoverable after their life cycle.

  • Low volatile organic compound emissions, allowing direct contact with food.

  • It tolerates the energy from impacts and cutting utensils that strike the surface.

  • Impervious to ultraviolet rays, does not fade when exposed to strong lighting.

  • High durability and good performance against wear and scratches from daily use.

  • No-hassle care that doesn't require any specific products.

  • Unaffected by sudden temperature changes, tolerant of extreme cold conditions.

  • Antibacterial waterproofing, repels water and oil, improving its resistance to moisture, chemicals and stains.

  • Fireproof and non-combustible, maintains its look and performance when subjected to high temperatures.

See it in Projects Porcelanosa.

Interior design: Cousi Interiorismo

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