• Raíces’ looks at the career of chef Carlos Maldonado, the first MasterChef candidate in the world to achieve a Michelin star with his own restaurant.
  • The documentary looks at his personal story, shows his gastronomic proposal, and features the participation of renowned Spanish chefs, as well as people from Carlos Maldonado’s entourage.
  • Directed by Hernán Zin and produced by RTVE in collaboration with Shine Iberia.

1 February 2021 – Every story has its roots. Carlos Maldonado’s roots are portrayed in an original RTVE Play documentary that premieres on February 23. Throughout two episodes, Raíces travels to the chef’s origins and looks back at his childhood and his rowdy adolescence. In addition, the documentary shows how he came to participate and win the third edition of the culinary talent show MasterChef and how he put together his gastronomic proposal of “hooligan cuisine” through his food truck project, the delivery El Círculo and the restaurant Raíces, which in 2020 was recognised by the Michelin Guide with one star. The documentary, produced by RTVE in collaboration with Shine Iberia, is directed by Hernán Zin (2020, Morir para contar or Nacido en Siria, among others).

Carlos Maldonado and his father’s visit to a garage to fix the van with which they travelled so many kilometres together is the trigger for ‘Raíces’. The documentary reflects the frenetic pace of the restaurant’s kitchen and the important coordination of the kitchen and dining room staff to ensure that the dishes come out on time. It also portrays the influence that the history of Talavera and his own personal experiences have on his gastronomic proposal. However, Raíces also shows the more personal side of the chef and the moments he shares with his family and friends: the times he plays with his son Carlos, the motorbike rides with his wife Ruth, the family dinners while watching MasterChef or his visits to the gym with his childhood friends. All of this is interspersed with interviews with Carlos Maldonado himself, family, friends, the Raíces team and big names in Spanish gastronomy and MasterChef, such as chefs Jordi Cruz (6 Michelin stars), Pepe Rodríguez (1 Michelin star) and Joan Roca (3 Michelin stars).

Carlos Maldonado, a star chef

Carlos Maldonado is one of the most beloved contestants of ‘MasterChef’. Since he won the third edition of the culinary talent show, he has had nothing but success. He took part in the programme Cocineros al volante with his father, where we saw him travelling around Spain in a food truck. This gave rise to the idea of consolidating his “hooligan cuisine” by selling quality fast food in a van, a project with which he managed to spread his cuisine throughout the country.

A few years later, in 2017, he launched his great professional project: the Raíces restaurant in Talavera de la Reina. The chef pays homage to his home town with a gastronomic proposal that highlights the products of the land and describes its history. After years of hard work, in 2019 Raíces received a Sol Repsol and in December 2020, the Michelin Guide awarded him his first Michelin Star. As a curiosity, Carlos Maldonado became the first MasterChef aspirant in the world to receive this recognition with his own restaurant.

Carlos Maldonado is an unstoppable chef, which is why his new professional project came soon after, despite the adverse effects that the pandemic caused by Covid-19 had on restaurants all over Spain. Many were forced to close; others saw an opportunity to reinvent themselves. Carlos Maldonado opted for the latter option and opened El Círculo, a hamburger delivery service made with quality products that has recently established itself as a restaurant in Talavera de la Reina and plans to expand to other cities.

Raíces’, a transmedia documentary

In addition to the two chapters that make up the documentary, the chef opens the doors of his restaurant Raíces to show how he prepares five of his favourite recipes. An orange rice made entirely with orange ingredients, a simple recipe of mushrooms with egg, a pickled cod with citrus fruits, an orange juice flan or the classic rice pudding with the chef’s personal touch. Users of RTVE Play and the RTVE Cooking Portal will be able to enjoy these five recipes in the weeks following the premiere of the documentary.