Music and gastronomy bring our senses to life this summer

Catalan towns such as L'Escala or Corbera del Llobregat organize events that combine tasting evenings with outdoor musical concerts.

Emma Vila / CNA

August 12, 2010 12:03 AM

L'Escala ( Music and gastronomy are excellent companions for summer nights in Catalonia. More and more people are attending evening tastings and musical events than ever. The combination of music and gastronomy has been a success for years in Catalonia, and even more so in summertime. People can always be counted upon to want to enjoy great music and delicious food. There are many different options on offer, but they all have something in common: proximity and seasonal products.

“For us, products are the essence of our cuisine… from now on, we want people to enjoy our appetizers, our dinner and the musical evening,” explains Jordi Jacas, cook at El Molí de l'Escala, a restaurant which has organized the Gastromusical for four years now.

Firstly, the Gastromusical is a little festival that has won a name for itself on the Costa Brava and beyond.

“This year, we wanted to give a name to products such as the 'tomata de Montserrat' (a very special variety of tomato from Montserrat), the 'poma de Girona' (Girona's apple), and the 'arròs de Pals' (rice from Pals), and we wanted to relate it to the musicians who will play here as solo artists, following their success with various music groups,” says the cook.

It is now the fourth year of this festival, which has become “a springboard for the restaurant”. Indeed, the restaurant now has 40% more work than last year, despite the crisis. Jordi Jacas announced that next year they will fuse his cuisine with modernism, thanks to his collaboration with the Atrium Artis Foundation.

According to Mr Jacas himself, this fusion will contribute to “the necessary discourse on gastronomy, which is already based on traditional cuisine, local produce and amazing cooks.” The Gastromusical, which started on 30 July this year, promises performances by Laura Simó & TriAngleZZ (11 August), Dani Nel·lo (18 August), and Albert Pla (24 August).

A second music and gastronomy festival that stands out is Sons del Món. This takes place in locations that are considered illustrative of Catalonia’s architectural patrimony. They include the Conjunt Monàstic de Vilabertran and the Ciutadella de Roses. The last festival in this year’s series ended on 1 August and some 4,000 people attended.

A third and final initiative that combines wine, food and music is “(G)astronomia: the night of flavours” organized by the restaurant, Casa Nostra, in Corbera de Llobregat. People will be able to contemplate the stars on the night of the Perseides, which is probably the best night of the year to watch for shooting stars. They will also be lucky enough to do so using telescopes belonging to the Corbera and Pallejà observatories, which will be specially installed for the occasion.

“We want to show everyone all the work we’ve done and to introduce them to our restaurant’s small scale producers and suppliers, and this is the best occasion to do so,” says Balbina Garcia, organizer, chef and sommelier of the restaurant.

Attendees will enjoy a wine tasting, hosted by collaborating wine cellars (Parés Baltà, Heretat Montrolí, Mas Bertran Viticultors, Mas Candí, Mas Comtal, Pardas and Nico James). They will also taste a dozen different dishes put together by a team led by Garcia. Optimal quality ingredients will be used and a premium will be placed on local produce.

The success of this initiative, which will take place on 13 August at Casa Nostra, in Corbera de Llobregat, has required the organizers to limit entrance to 300 people. The first year, 400 people came and it was too much, so it is best that you plan in advance in order to avoid any disappointment.