History

Restaurant Hotel Duran, a restaurant with a long history

Learn about the history of the Hotel Duran Restaurant

It was 1910 when the married couple Joan Duran and Teresa Camps decided to rent what was known until then as Fonda Ca la Teta, a restaurant in the centre of Figueres. The couple maintained the spirit of the business, which was renamed ‘Casa de Menjars J. Duran’, and formed their family around it. Their two children, Lluís and Joan, placed the establishment within the gastronomic and tourist panorama of the city. Nowadays, the business is maintained by the marriage of Lluís and Joaquima’s sons, Ramon and Lluïsa, having overcome difficult times such as the civil war and the post-war period. All this has been possible thanks to the passion for the hotel business of the Duran family, who still run the business today.

1855

Lluís Duran Camps’ grandparents founded Ca la Teta around 1855.

The newspaper library of the Figueres newspaper “El Empordanés” speaks of the existence of the Fonda and the Celler de Ca la Teta, an elongated room with a well in the middle.

In this advertisement from 1864, we see that the inn hosted guests and offered the most varied services.

1910

The marriage of Joan Duran Burgas and Teresa Camps Lapedra formalises the rental of the establishment.

The couple maintain the spirit of the business, which is now called Casa de Menjars J. Duran, and raise their family around it. Their children are Lluís (born 1910) and Joan Duran Camps (1914).

1932

Lluís Duran Camps takes over the Fonda Ca la Teta.

1936

The Civil War breaks out and Lluís Duran Camps leaves for France. However, the Fonda never closed: with his father dead (Joan Duran Burgas), the widow Teresa and his wife, Antònia Simón, continued to run the Fonda and offered the usual services.

1939

When the Civil War ended, Lluís Duran Camps returned to the family business. The inn resisted thanks to the women of the house and, from 1939 onwards, the establishment Casa de Menjars J. Duran became the Hotel Duran. The Second World War begins.

1941

Lluís Duran Simon is born (1933), son of Lluís Duran Camps and grandson of Joan Duran Burgas.

1943

In the midst of the Second World War, Ca la Teta receives a surprising call from the Military Government of Girona announcing that, on the same evening, a group of thirty German officers stationed in the Pertús would come to dinner. This fact is referenced in the book “Quan els nazis quen a Figueres” by the author Jordi Vila (2009).

1946

With the new regime, the country was isolated from the rest of Europe due to the closure of the border between 1946 and 1948. Nonetheless, the proximity of Figueres to the border and the prestige of Ca la Teta, made it a very popular place and the restaurant gained some notoriety in the gastronomic circles of the time.

1949

The establishment’s Signature Book or Golden Book is inaugurated, with a dedication and a drawing by Salvador Dalí.

1950

The development of this new stage is linked to the Fires de la Santa Creu in Figueres in 1950, with a football match between FC Barcelona and Figueres, and the close relationship of friendship and complicity between Salvador Dalí and Lluís Duran.

1951

Performers, cyclists, racing drivers from the Montjuïc circuit in Barcelona, variety theatre or fairground artists, the singer Charles Trenet, stopped at the Hotel Duran as well as renowned figures such as Josep Pla, the actor James Mason, the singer-songwriter Georges Brassens, the sculptor of the Cesar Film Awards Georges Cravenne, the writer Camilo José Cela, the jazz musician and composer Sydney Bechet, the sculptor and collector Frederic Marés…

1955

Lluís Duran Camps introduces elements of French influence in the kitchen, which he complements with the introduction of the first flambéing done in the dining room, in front of the same diner.

1957

Between 1957 and 1958, the main road stops passing through the city centre and the traffic is diverted to the current Salvador Dalí Avenue.

1957

Lluís and Joan Duran Camps join the International Order of the Anysetiers. Lluís Duran was elevated to the category of Maître de Bouche within the Chapter of the Commanderie de l’Empordà.

1958

Lluís Duran Camps buys a property in which there is a small gas station located at the southern entrance of Figueres and builds a modern hotel with more than 30 rooms, all with a bathroom. The hotel includes a restaurant, a garage and a car park. The hotel will be called Hotel Rallye, recalling his eldest son’s fondness for rally racing.

1960

He rents the bar Novedades de la Rambla and, later on, the Tupinamba, located next to each other. He transforms the space into a modern cafeteria with a covered terrace and a dance hall, which he calls Astòria.

1960

The same year, he rents the Hotel París in the Rambla de Figueres (formerly the Gran Hotel París and current Toy Museum of Catalonia). Later on, on the ground floor, he creates the Cafeteria New París.

1965

The two sons, Lluís and Joan, are beginning to place the establishment within the country’s gastronomic panorama. Having returned from the prestigious hotel management school in Lausanne, Switzerland, and with different internships in hotels of that country, Lluís Duran i Simon introduces a more modern and refreshing vision of both gastronomy and hotel management. At the same time, the influence of the establishment as a school of chefs and restaurateurs begins, not only of the Hotel Duran but also of the different Duran establishments of the time.

1966

Lluís Duran i Simón marries Joaquima Juanola, who also became one of the pillars of the family business until, over the years, transferring it to the couple’s two children: Ramon and Lluïsa Duran.

1966

The old spa Els Banys de la Mercè on the N-II road, near Capmany, is rented and transformed into a hotel with 50 rooms with bathrooms, a restaurant, a chapel and a banquet room: the Hotel Mercè Park.

1966

Teresa Camps receives the Medal of Merit in Work.

1967

The Hotel Comerç is acquired, located next to the inn to unify it with the Hotel Duran. The final outcome is a hotel with 60 rooms with full bathrooms and a modern restaurant with more capacity. In this way, Can Duran came to be known as one of the most renowned hotels in the region, preserving the cellar of the old inn of Ca La Teta.

1967

Lluís Duran Camps buys the President Hotel. A new, modern and well-equipped building, inaugurated as a hotel in 1963 by the construction industrialist, recently arrived from Mexico, Antoni Costa Vilanova.

1967

Delhi-Dali dinner organised by the Air-India airline, offered by Salvador Dalí at the Hotel Duran, and which was preceded by an unexpected gift: an elephant from India, to thank him for his collaboration in an advertising campaign.

1968

Lluís Duran Camps is designated Honorary Member of the Societat Coral Erato.

1968

Opening period, when the Costa Brava was the favoured destination of elite artists and many foreigners, and when the design of the time was also reflected in the design of the menus, such as the Mamelles Menu, on the occasion of the foundation of the First Hotel Chain of Girona-Costa Brava: HOGECOS.

1969

Salvador Dalí draws and donates “Don Quixote of the Goose with Pears” in reference to the dish created by the restaurant and which can be seen in the establishment’s bar.

1969

Trends and design are definitely incorporated in the dishes, the drinks, the customs and the celebrations. During this period, the current cover of the Restaurant’s menu is designed, inspired by the classic Catalan “auques”, linked to traditional Empordà dishes and actions such as “a collir bolets” or “calen nanses”.

1970

Dinner to commemorate the beginning of the reconstruction of the Figueres Theatre which became the current Dalí Museum.

1972

The Hotel Rallye in Figueres, La Tramuntana in Plaça Sant Jaume in Barcelona and the Restaurant Finisterre, also in Barcelona, have a great influence amongst cooks and maîtres of the period as many came to train.

1973

Lluís Duran Camps receives the Gold Medal of Merit in the Hospitality Industry and, together with his wife Antonia Simón Marti, the Silver Medal of Merit in Work.

1974

Lunch for the inauguration of the Dalí Museum served by the Hotel Duran in the Plaça de l’Ajuntament in Figueres.

1975

As a result of the massive traffic of cars and trucks along the N-II, the government of the time decided to build the motorway from Barcelona to La Jonquera. In July of this year, the A7 motorway (now the AP7) reached Figueres, and the only exit 4 Figueres, now Figueres-Sur, was opened.

1975

From Barcelona, the motorway concessionaire asked Lluís Duran Camps to take over the service area at Bàscara and, later on, the current Porta Catalana at La Jonquera (1981).

1976

Lluís Duran Camps receives the Award for the Best Social Work of the Grupo Hotelero.

1980

Lluís Duran Camps receives the Gold Cup of International Gastronomy in Rome.

1980

Lluís Duran Camps receives, together with his wife Antonia Simón Marti, the Silver Medal of Merit in Work.

1981

Lluís Duran Camps was elevated to the category of Maître de Bouche within the Chapter of the Commanderie de l’Empordà of the International Order of the Anysetiers.

1981

Lluís Duran Camps receives the Bronze Medal for Tourism from the Generalitat de Catalunya.

1981

Lluís and Joan Duran die suddenly with just a few months apart. Joan on May 24 and Lluís on September 29 at the age of 71, when he was the manager of companies that employed 270 people.

1981

The memory of the Duran Camps brothers, now deceased, receives the direct tribute of all the regions of Girona with the election of both brothers as Girona’s personalities of the year.

1982

Lluís Duran i Simón assumes the generational shift of the management of the Hotel Duran, which he shared with his wife Joaquima Joanola for more than fifteen years.

1986

Ian Gibson frequents the Hotel Duran and a friendship is established, following the last interview that Salvador Dalí grants him, shortly before his death.

1990

Lluís and Joaquima’s children, after their respective studies and internships in the hotel and tourism industry, joined the family business. In 1990, their son Ramon (Escola Universitària d’Hostaleria i Turisme Sant Pol de Mar) and, in 1996, their daughter Lluïsa Duran Juanola (Escola de Restauració i Hostalatge de Barcelona). They introduce innovative ideas that, little by little, start to be implemented in the form of computerised hotel management systems, new communication technologies and the updating of the dishes on the menu in accordance with contemporary gastronomic criteria.

1995

Lluïsa Duran starts working as a trainee in the kitchen team of the Restaurant Ambassador of the Hotel Crillon in Paris for one year.

2001

The Restaurant of the Hotel Duran presents the first dishes of special cuisine for celiacs on both the daily menu and the à la carte menu, a fact that continues to this day.

2004

The establishment takes part in the “Art and Gastronomy” campaign on the occasion of the events celebrating the Centenary of Salvador Dalí’s Death organised by Cuina de l’Empordanet. The Hotel Duran restaurant team travels to the Dalí Museum in Saint Petersburg, Florida, to prepare the commemorative dinner in this destination.

2004

The most important remodelling in the history of the hotel begins. Under the supervision of the family, a comprehensive reform of all the hotel floors is initiated, including the general facilities and all the elements of the rooms.

2005

The work is completed after one year, but at no time does the establishment close its doors. With this reform, the Hotel Duran is now considered one of the most modern in Figueres.

2009

Participation in the gastronomic tribute of the “Centenary of the Costa Brava” organised by the Girona Costa Brava Tourism Board.

2012

To the present day, it has been part of the restaurants included in the gastronomic event “Tastets Surrealistes” of Figueres, where an original and particular menu of dishes with a Dalinian-inspired visual is presented, only for thirty days during summer.

2014

Lluís Duran i Simon was also a unique promoter of various cultural actions related to the world of art and literature. “Les nits de Lola Pàton” by Monica Soler Ranzani is presented at the Hotel Duran: a fictional story set in a real place, the famous brothel of Figueres, the Torre Basca.

2014

Found in a bookstore in Perpinyà, Lluís Duran i Simon promotes the Spanish and Catalan edition of “Les Fogueres del Pertús” after recognising the surroundings of the period in Figueres, and presents the publication at the Hotel Duran. Written in 1939 by Àlvar d’Orriols, poet and playwright, it is an autobiographical work that narrates the long journey into exile that the author suffered, from Barcelona to France via Figueres.

2016

As a member of the Venerable Confraria de la Bóta de Sant Ferriol, he actively collaborates in the editions of Tasts de Vins, held with the support of the Narcís Fages de Romà Chair of Viticulture and Oenology at the Rovira i Virgili University.

2018

On the 8th of November, Lluís Duran i Simon dies, the third generation of a family devoted to the world of gastronomy and hospitality. The funeral brought together the world of the hotel industry and business as well as the political and cultural world.

2019

On the 27th of April, the Empordà Museum in Figueres opens the exhibition “El país dels cuiners. From Ca la Teta to El Bulli”, where the influence of the establishment is recognised with a visual exhibition that traces the historical evolution of the cuisine in the Alt Empordà over the past fifty years. The exhibition was complemented with a special Tasting Menu, the “Terra de Cuiners”, where the most renowned dishes of the Restaurant were displayed.

2019

10 consecutive years of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame Double Certificate of Excellence. Ten uninterrupted years obtaining positive opinions in a continuous, regular and systematic way in the Restaurant and in the Hotel Duran.

2019

The establishment is recognised by the Marca Cuina Catalana of the Fundació Institut Català de la Cuina i de la Cultura Gastronòmica at the 3rd Catalan Cuisine Congress.

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