Josep Mercader, the visionary founder

On 4 June 1961, Josep Mercader, a young chef returning from absorbing the essence of French "Nouvelle Cuisine" on the border, opened the doors of the Hotel Empordà on the National II roadway, a must stop for to travellers in transit between France and Spain. Popularly known as "El Motel", the establishment quickly became an icon of modern Catalan cuisine.

Mercader, a pioneer in his time, already embraced cuisine based on local and seasonal products, laying the foundations of what we know today as the "new Catalan cuisine". His vision combined innovation and tradition, revitalising Catalan cuisine without losing its essence or identity.

Jaume Subirós and Jordi Subirós
Jaume Subirós and Jordi Subirós

Jaume Subirós, the continuity of the legacy

Jaume Subirós started his career at El Motel in 1961, at just eleven years old, initially working as a bellboy. He learned the secrets of cooking and hotel management from Mercader, leaving his mark both in the dining room and in the kitchen.

After the untimely departure of Josep Mercader, Jaume Subirós, with his calm and precise gesture and his elegant manner, took over command, keeping alive the essence of the "new cuisine" and turning it into a classic.

"At the Motel, the school that Mr Mercader created is always followed: seasonal cuisine and the evolution of updated recipes”

Jordi Subirós, the silent transition

Relief in the kitchens and in the management of El Motel are carried out with the discretion and elegance that set the establishment apart. Jordi, now in charge, preserves the legacy and allows it to evolve, adapting it for new generations.

El Motel is a place where you will eat well and, in addition, you will notice the good taste and delicacy of local and seasonal products, the weight of recent history and a very personal way of doing things.