Sònia Gómez Berrocal
Type of cuisine:
Avant-garde restaurant pastry-making
Dessert developer, TV, show-cooking, brand ambassador, culinary advisor, speaker, psychologist.
“Restaurant pastry-making is like me: delicate and complex, but capable of touching the soul and leaving a mark.”
Sònia Gómez Berrocal
Since childhood, Sònia Gómez has had a charismatic, enthralling, energetic and vital personality, capable of captivating anyone she comes into contact with. She has always attracted attention, even without wanting to. She knows that her way of being is different; she’s very emotional and lives everything intensely.
I am extremely empathetic to the needs of others, however hidden these may be, and have an innate artistic sensibility. My brain is programmed to study the smallest expressions and behaviours. As it does so, it creates its own logarithms, resulting in hypotheses that it accepts or rejects in a matter of milliseconds and these determine my actions. All of this probably explains why, in 2014, I graduated in Psychology from the University of Barcelona. Following that, I did three Master’s and various postgraduate degrees with a clinical and healthcare specialism.
I started making American-style desserts for my classmates, because at that time it was my way of avoiding the world and my problems. I spent my few spare hours absorbed in reading or looking for pastry-making ideas. As soon as I entered the kitchen the outside world disappeared for me, my brain was stilled and I could focus only on the dish and its ingredients. Nothing and nobody existed, it was like being in a bubble, and hours would go by without me noticing.
Although my work as a psychologist was highly satisfying, given that helping people is part of my DNA, it did not cater for the creative element I needed in my daily life. Since I was born I have looked for ways to express myself in some creative and artistic way, though not as a hobby, and then I came across the world of desserts.
Sònia had been working as a clinical psychologist until, in 2018, a friend persuaded me to take part in a casting for the first edition of Bake Off and, as I’ve already mentioned, I have a personality that attracts people to me, so I was accepted as a contestant. They played a lot with my image, but I was on my way to the final. Unfortunately, I had a very serious motorbike accident which left me with a broken fibula and torn shoulder muscles. Despite this, I didn’t want to drop out because my leg was in plaster, because I’m a fighter and I don’t like to throw in the towel. I believe in effort, passion, persistence and determination. Nothing comes easily. If you fall, you have to get up, over and over again.
I’m extremely demanding in everything I do, and pastry making is no exception. I’m as demanding with myself as I am with others because I like perfection, although I believe it’s an unattainable chimera.
I really was the most mediatic and controversial contestant, without knowing it or wanting it. It sounds like a bit of a cliché, but I didn’t go there to win, I went to learn. I had no strategy and, not knowing how to play bad, they ate me alive.
When my leg was better I decided to turn my life around 360º and start from zero. I chose my current temple of worship, Espaisucre, run by Jordi Butrón, Xano Sagué and Pablo Maggiori, and took a four-month course that left me wanting more, so I did the year-long course.
Sònia learned about the philosophy of the Espaisucre Method and soaked it all up. From that time onwards it became my way of working with pastries. Cakes full of fondant and buttercream really didn’t inspire me, and Espaisucre opened my mind, it was a true revelation that allowed me to discover my passion: restaurant pastry-making.
The profession of restaurant pastry chef is still very new and there are only a few of us who know how to do the job.
When I’m not in the kitchen, you’ll find me in some clothes shop or busy planing my next trip – as fashion and travel are my two other passions. I’m lucky that I get to do both very often. I’m extremely fortunate.