Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria
He doesn’t sound Spanish, he doesn’t even look Spanish, but second-generation Catalan, Joel Serra Bevin certainly knows Spanish food. Papa Serra was his grandfather and after living in New Zealand, Australia, London and New York, Joel has come back to his roots and started his Barcelona Culinary Adventures.
Barcelona cooking classes
His Spanish cooking classes and food market tours in Barcelona are a fantastic introduction to this fascinating cuisine in the city that Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations fame described as “the most exciting place to eat in the Western world”.
The Boqueria Market Tour
Joel was kind enough to invite me along, so I met him, and the rest of the group, at 9am one morning at the entrance to the Boqueria market. Joel furnished us with glasses of cava and explained a bit about the history of the market and how it had developed over the years. I’d never been to the market at such an early hour and it was such a joy to see it a lot less crowded than I’m used to. Read the rest of this article…
Spain’s Secret Conflict
The documentary, Spain’s Secret Conflict, was made back in 2009 yet recently was the first time I’d seen it. It’s one of the most concise explanations of the conflict between Catalonia and Spain that I’ve seen. Even if it’s not so secret a conflict any longer.
Gary Gibson’s 40 minute documentary starts during the Independence Poll in Arenys de Munt in September 2009. The first poll of it’s kind in Catalonia, this symbolic poll went ahead despite being banned by Madrid and picketed by the far right-wing Falange.
As Gibson says at the end of the documentary…
“Through these polls the Catalans are sending a clear message to Spain: for 300 years we have had to listen to you and do what you tell us. Now this is what we have to say.”
I wouldn’t say this is a completely one-sided documentary (though it is clearly pro-Catalan). There are personalities interviewed from both sides including: Read the rest of this article…
- By Anna Wallner
- Filed in: Food & Drink
An article from the cava lady, Anna Wallner, on the delights of drinking cava in Barcelona.
Cava tasting in Barcelona
The first time I visited Barcelona, I had already fallen in love with cava during my sommelier studies. It was in the beginning of April and it was still very cold in Sweden, but when we stepped out of BCN Airport the sun was on my face and the warmth was in the air (at least if you compare it to Sweden). Since that first visit I have come back as often as I can, usually 2-4 times a year. But even so I miss Barcelona when I’m at home in Sweden and especially now during winter when the snow builds high outside my door and the darkness is so thick it feels like you can cut it with a knife. But a glass of really nice cava on a Friday when I come home from work, really lights up even the darkest November day.
Barcelona makes me happy because the city embodies everything I love about life, fantastic food, great weather, the sea, wonderful architecture and history, great and friendly people and of course Cava. When visiting the city I feel free, and my husband and I can use our days for exactly what we want. Read the rest of this article…
- By Laurie Nouchka
- Filed in: Perfect Days
The beach at Barceloneta
“I first visited Barcelona just under four years ago. It was an unplanned visit but one that would set me up to fall helplessly in love with the place. I was on a four-month sabbatical from my job in London to focus on my ‘other’ life as an artist. I had started off in a small village in France but it was there I realised it wasn’t the peace and quiet or nature that was inspiring me but the vibrancy and energy of a city. So I headed to Barcelona. I arrived in to BCN at Arc de Triomfand had a while to wait for a friend so I grabbed an ice cream and sat by the exit to the metro watching the city fall in to its afternoon routine. Coming from London, where everything runs at an acutely fast pace, I felt an extension of time in the way the people of BCN went about things.
The streets of Barceloneta
After I met my friend we grabbed a drink in the back streets of Barceloneta, an area which would soon become a real favourite of mine, and decided the only thing to do as a new visitor to the city was to head to the beach and jump in the sea. We quickly stripped down and threw ourselves into the water diving in and out of the waves. At one point I turned back to look at the city around us and felt a further sense of adoration for the place. Something about being in the water surrounded by the throngs of a city, but more than that, a sense of energy from the place that I couldn’t quite place yet. I felt it had welcomed me with open arms instantly. No judgement. Read the rest of this article…
Three reports have been commissioned by the CatDem Foundation to answer the question, “Would an independent Catalonia be economically feasible?”. Now of course, considering who the reports were commissioned by you don’t need me to tell you the conclusion. But all 3 make for interesting reading. They’re not particularly long, 11, 7 and 14 pages respectively. But they give some insight into the fiscal implications of an independent Catalan state.
From the CatDem press release…
As part of a general reflection about the “National Transition” that Catalonia is going through, the CatDem Foundation has put together three reports that analyse the economic feasibility of an independent Catalonia. These documents closely analyse all the possible consequences to the Catalan economy if it were to become an independent State. The reports focus on three different areas. Read the rest of this article…
The exhibition LDN-BCN opens at the Untitled BCN gallery space in Gràcia this Saturday the 10th of November.
There will be 18 artists taking part, all of whom make up a collective formed following participation in a residency in East London in June of this year. The show will comprise painting, photography, sculpture, video, installation and performance. LDN-BCN will be the first of their international biannual group shows.
My home town of London is obviously very close to my heart. And any collaboration between my old and new love is a good thing. Read the rest of this article…
Visit the EatWith website
I had an interesting email the other day from Joel who runs Papa Serra Jr. He is involved with the new Barcelona branch of EatWith whose mission it is “to bring the world together one meal at a time”. Their goal is to make it easier for people to organise dinners at home for tourists and locals while earning an income from doing it. It started in Israel and has now expanded to Spain although for now all the hosts are in and around Barcelona.
This sounds like a pretty cool idea to me. There are lots of budding chefs out there that are more than capable of putting together an amazing dinner party. I can think of a few myself! And whether it be for a group of tourists or a special occasion for someone who lives locally I think EatWith Barcelona could be onto something here, providing guests with an innovative dining experience and cooks with an alternative income. Read the rest of this article…