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Ford Vignale Lifestyle Ford Mondeo Vignale left-side view of the hood and the wheel

DESTINATIONS

FORD VIGNALE MEETS RICARD CAMARENA

Ricard Camarena, owner of four restaurants and gastronomic guru is considered the best Michelin-starred chef in Valencia. During a spin in a Ford Mondeo Vignale, handed to him by Vignale Relationship Manager Pablo Vidal, he reveals the secrets of craftsmanship and creativity and explains how to manage time while still offering a high quality experience.

The Ford Vignale way of thinking

You might not think so, but Ricard and Pablo have many things in common. Not only that they both live and work in Valencia. They are both full of passion, wanting to be the best in their field and they both grew up surrounded by the things they’re doing now. 41 year-old Chef Ricard Camarena had to prepare lunches and dinners at home when he was only eight years old because both his parents were out working all day. While 34 year-old Pablo Vidal, Vignale Relationship Manager in Catarroja, 10 minutes south of Valencia’s city centre grew up amongst the Ford cars that his father sold throughout his career and as a little boy admired the Probe, Puma and Scorpio gleaming in his father’s showroom.

Both young men push themselves to make sure their clients return, leaving their ‘showrooms’ completely satisfied after their latest experience. “It’s important,” explains Ricard, “that people see that you’re devoted to them. When they come to your restaurant, they come for you. That means that you have to dedicate to them all the time they need and want. You have to show passion for them.” A view not so different from the Ford Vignale way of thinking, Pablo says. When I get a new client, I spend all the time with them that they need. If that’s an hour, it’s an hour: the client decides how long it takes. I make them feel comfortable.

Ford Vignale Lifestyle Ricard Camarena in car, with client and touchscreen of his Vignale

Cooking

This morning Pablo Vidal picked up Ricard Camarena at his home to drive him to the dealership and hand over a new Ford Mondeo Vignale. The top chef then enjoyed a ride through Valencia, stopping at the spots where he can find, touch, taste and buy the essentials of his culinary art. One of the stops is the ‘huerta’, just outside the city. Big vegetable gardens where specially selected farmers grow organic vegetables for him. “I tell them the exact moment I will want them to harvest the courgette, aubergine or cucumber and the size they need to be.” Camarena’s cooking is based on using vegetables as his primary product.

Ford Vignale Lifestyle Richard Camarena unloading the box of fresh vegetable and fruit from the car, bowl of fresh fruit with yoghurt

Time is the jewel

“The ‘materia prima’ is very important, the product has to be perfect,” explains the chef. “The selection of the product, the way you touch it and use it, that is an artisan’s work. The product is different every day, so you have to treat it differently; it’s alive. A machine couldn’t do that.” Instead of a machine, Ricard has his talent and a wonderful team of 60 workers across his four restaurants. “I select my team first on their personality. They have to be able to work in a group, to be social. It’s a hard job, I work 16 hours a day but it gives me huge satisfaction. I feel myself a privileged man.” During those 16 hours of work, Ricard Camarena doesn’t have much time for other things. During his leisure time he wants to maximise the time with his wife and two sons. Which makes the Ford Vignale concept ideal for him, claims Pablo Vidal. Ford Vignale drivers can call me on my direct number. I’ll visit their home or office to pick up their car for a service or repairs. I’ll liaise with the repairmen. There’s no middle man, no waiting time. In fact there’s even a 24/7 line for Ford Vignale customers. That’s our idea of ‘time is the jewel’.

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