Carme Ruscalleda i Serra is a renowned Catalan chef of the restaurant Sant Pau in Sant Pol de Mar, near Barcelona. She also owns and manages the restaurant Sant Pau de T˛quio in Japan.
Ruscalleda was raised in a family of farmers and began cooking as a girl. She studied Charcuterie technics, as well as Commerce, and after marrying a grocery owner, Toni Balam in 1975, the couple opened restaurant Sant Pau in 1988. In 1991 it obtained its first Michelin Guide star and in 2006 obtained its third Michelin star. Today her restaurants have five Michelin stars in total: three in her restaurant in Catalonia and two for the Sant Pau in Tokyo, making her the world's only five-Michelin-starred female chef. The restaurant in Sant Pol de Mar also obtained the maximum three suns of the Campsa Guide in 1999.
Her cuisine is strongly based on Catalan tradition though open to world influences, and focuses on quality and seasonal products. She often relates the dishes served to a leitmotif explained in the menu, creating a sort of literary concept.
Since 2000, she has published numerous books on the Mediterranean diet, with an emphasis on modern, easy, quick and tasty meals; including recipes adapted to non-professional kitchens. The most celebrated is Cuinar per ser feliš, Cooking to be happy. In English she has published Carme Ruscalleda's Mediterranean cuisine, Salsa Books Editions.