Gluten Free and Vegan Pastry Shop
Lucila Canero spent many years climbing the ranks of the culinary world in Barcelona. When the pandemic hit, her job was on hold and the future seemed uncertain. She saw covid as an opportunity to realise one of her dreams. In 2021, along with her husband Gerardo Rossini, they opened a natural pastry shop in their home town of Castelldefels. The project has taken on a life of its own ever since.
Lucila came from Buenos Aires and began her career in the Gremi de Pastisseria de Barcelona. She later worked at pastry shop, Takashi Ochiai, who have been specializing in Japanese pastries in Barcelona since 1983. She speaks of her previous boss with fondness, how he encouraged them through playful competition to create new pastries and helped them to grow as pastry chefs. She later went on to work at the acclaimed restaurant Virens, with Rodrigo de la Calle. At Virens, they highlight local and healthy food where plant-based ingredients are the protagonists. Lucila learned the importance of being surrounded by a good team. Being at the beginning of the project gave her a lot of autonomy and invaluable experience.
The demands of the hospitality industry and the demands of a young family can be a tough balancing act. Try finding a babysitter available on Sundays! Lucila, mother of two, was looking for a way to combine her culinary passions with a more balanced family life. Lucila and Gerardo are happy to put commuting behind them. She explained, “I’m looking for a way of life, not just a business model, something that allows me to do what I love” and combine it with the other things in life that give her joy.
The pastry shop is called La Luciernaga, meaning firefly, her mother’s nickname for her. Lucila is excited to share her passion for pastries with a healthier twist. La Luciernaga specializes in gluten-free and vegan baking. Creating these sophisticated pastries without relying on gluten and animal products is incredibly challenging. While other chefs would be put off by restrictions, Lucila is energized by the challenge. Trying recipes again and again until she is completely satisfied with the results. Lucila feels it's a great accomplishment every time she can create sweets for people that had given up on them due to intolerances or allergies.
At La Luciernaga, you can order both sweet or savory tasting menus for brunches, meetings, or parties. There are also a variety of cakes, muffins, brownies and cookies for any occasion. Now you can attend courses in her shop to learn to make your own gluten free goods at home. Seasonal granolas and special pastries are available so you never tire of the offering. Lucila is always up for a challenge, I have commissioned her to make healthier versions of holiday classics and she never disappoints. You would think opting for healthier ingredients would mean you compromise on taste, but she is a true chemist and magician in the kitchen. The cream is fluffy, the cakes are moist and the pie crusts are the perfect amount of crumbly.
La Luciernaga has been a local favorite of mine from the moment they opened their doors. Lucila and Gerardo take us into the delectable world of vegan pastries and this is only the beginning.
1. What was your favorite childhood food?
My grandmother was an excellent cook, and my mom- not so much. I liked her pickled eggplant. I also enjoy any kind of curry.
2. Strangest thing I ever ate was:
Insects were very strange. There was a before and an after eating insects. Also, dried fish in Malawi, that made an impression on me.
3. The dish I eat the night I don’t want to cook is:
Hummus and raw veggies.
4. Describe a regular moment in your life that brings you joy:
I wake up early. I prepare my mate (a traditional South American caffeinated drink) and look out at the sea to have my peaceful moment before anyone is awake and the day has begun.