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Family tradition

In 1952, Calafell Platja was a municipality with several families of fishermen, one of whom was the Vernet family. It was at this time when great-grandmother Mercè decided to open Fonda Papiol, which grew to become a leading Pension. Years later, Salvador Vernet gradually converted it to the exclusive restaurant use it has today.

In 1997, Salvador Vernet and his wife Joana Navarro opened the current Vell Papiol restaurant, which was later joined by their son David Vernet.

Our cuisine has its roots in local and family seafood cuisine. This is the reason that leads us to base our specialties on fish and seafood, with the combination of the quality products that the land offers us. That’s why we can say that seafood cuisine coexists with market cuisine, that is, cuisine that is based on working with the best products that the market offers us at all times of the year.

Over the years we have strived to offer dishes inherited from tradition by incorporating new cooking techniques and trends. We buy our fish and seafood directly at the Vilanova i la Geltrú’s fishermen market and move forward with the desire to offer a better service every day, diversity in dishes and elaborations and an extensive wine list representative of the Penedès area and the country.

David Vernet Navarro

Head Chef

He was born on February 7, 1984. It may not have been immediately, but it didn’t take long for him to have his first contact with cooking food in the family’s restaurant.

In 2003 he began studying cooking at the Hotel and Tourism School in Cambrils. During his studies, he took part in various competitions for young chefs with good results. At the end of the academic year, he was awarded an internship at Ferran Adrià’s Restaurant el Bulli for 4 months in 2005. He rejoined the same restaurant in 2006’s season as a stager.

It is at this time when he learns to be self-critical with his own work, to be over-exigent and to look for arguments in everything that working in a kitchen involves. During those two seasons he has the opportunity to work with a great team (Oriol, Eduard, Jaume, Jon, etc.) and all his teammates from various backgrounds who enrich him both personally and professionally.

In 2008 he spent a month at Lafitte Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) with Kevin Cherkas, who deeply influenced him as a professional due to his ability and philosophy of kitchen management and organization. But also, indoubtably, for his boundless creative ability.

On the same year he started working as an assistant in the kitchen of Michel Guérard’s Restaurant in the French Landes, for a whole year. During this time and because of his work with Chefs Jacky and Xavier, he gets imbued with the meaning of chef’s profession and the vital importance of respect for the product and its environment.

There he learns classic culinary technique and gets surrounded by the French gastronomic culture. On a personal level it is one of the most important moments for him, as there he meets his wife Cinthia, a cook too.

Since the beginning until today, he has been working together with his father, Salvador Vernet, who has passed on him Catalan cuisine (especially that with seafood roots) and the experience to always work with the best seasonal and quality product.