One of the ex-workers at Gaudí’s “Capricho”, José María Martínez García de la Rasilla, showed his discontent with the “poor financial management” of El Capricho during the last few years. He considers that the decisions taken by the current managing director and owner of the building, Taketo Kurosawa, throughout last year in an attempt to re-build the business, have precipitated the closure due to “a lack of judgement”.

Jose María Martínez, who worked for 13 years in the kitchen of the El Capricho restaurant, had seen for a while that things “would not end well”. He had to buy himself some kitchen utensils in order to be able to work properly, while he watched astonished as Kurosawa requested loans from the banks to reform the building and hold cultural events that did not give the restaurant enough publicity to make it profitable.

In addition, he explained to El Diario Montañés, since the previous managing director, Masako Yamahuchi, retired in April of 2009, things had gone from bad to worse. «Building work was done without getting quotes and occasionally had to be repeated, without warranties or responsibilities having been required of the companies carrying out the work”. And, Martínez told this newspaper, “I cannot understand how with the business figures for Capricho so bad, a commercial bank could have granted him such a large loan last year”.

What’s more, he continues, “it is suspicious that so much money should be invested in a business that doesn’t work”. According to the chef at El Capricho, the only profitable part of the business was the restaurant and, from what he could see over the last few years, “nothing was invested in it”.

A lot of merchandising
On the contrary, throughout 2009 a series of indirect actions were taken aimed at giving the monument more publicity, such as the creation of a socio-cultural association, the acquisition of items of Gaudinian inspiration for sale in the gift shop and many of them with Japanese copyright, as well as pictures of plans, that adorn the different rooms of the building, and the organisation of a Sho art exhibition, all these activities with a Japanese stamp which have represented a significant financial expenditure but which fell on stony ground.

Decisions which, according to Martínez García de la Rasilla, «damaged the business despite the not inconsiderable warnings of its personnel». Lastly, José María Martínez, qualifies as an “act of cynicism” the fact that Kurosawa should decide to maintain the 'Q' of the Quality Club for 2010 when he had already decided on the closure of El Capricho, arguing that he did so to improve the curriculum of the workers and as a demonstration of his “profound gratitude”.

A way of doing things that this kitchen professional will never understand nor agree with, who asks himself whether perhaps it is a cultural difference between Spain and Japan or simply the personal style of Taketo Kurosawa and «his Caprichos (whims)».

| Top | Homepage |