gastronomy

Two Catalan apps finalists at the Mobile Premier Awards recognising the world's best apps

February 24, 2015 09:36 PM | ACN / Martín González

Cookbooth and dondeEsta Family are two of the sixteen apps which are finalists at the Mobile Premier Awards, which will be awarded at Barcelona's Sala Apolo on the 2nd of March, coinciding with the first day of the Mobile World Congress (MWC). The MWC is the world's largest event of the mobile and phone-related industry, which takes place each year in the Catalan capital at the end of February or in early March. The Best App Award, the Best Audience App and the Big Impact Award will be given. Cookboth is a recipe photo-sharing platform for chefs and food connoisseurs and dondeEsta Family helps families locate their members. Both are available for iOS and Android devices.

Catalan Christmas: Cava and Kings, where children get to beat a log until it poos out their presents!

December 24, 2014 03:22 PM | Nell English

Logs that poo presents, men with 365 noses, and cakes with hidden surprises, Christmas in Catalonia has many of its own unique traditions. These include 'Caga Tió' - a log that brings edible goodies  to children; live nativity scenes featuring 'El Caganer' - a humorous hidden figure to bring good luck, and 'El Tortell de Reis' a cake that can turn you into a King. While the Santa-led celebration on the 25th is becoming increasingly important due to marketing and globalisation, in Catalonia traditionally the biggest day (when children receive presents) is the 6th of January, which is the 'Dia de Reis' (Day of the Kings), when kids wake up and discover presents brought by the Three Wise Men. The night before, the Three Kings parade around the main cities and towns, forming a big colourful and festive procession.

Pokémon style 20th edition of the Manga Fair opens its doors in Barcelona

October 31, 2014 08:54 PM | ACN

The 20th edition of the Manga Fair is taking place between Thursday 30th October and Sunday 2nd November at the Fira de Barcelona's Montjuic exhibition space. The Manga Fair is an annual event that celebrates the popular Japanese anime, bringing together fans from all around the world, through a series of exhibitions and activities in Barcelona. This year, the space has increased to 50,000m2, and the opening times will be extended. There will be a variety of special guests attending, including the author Kengo Hanazawa, artist Takeshi Obata from Japan, and Ken Niimura, a Spanish author of Japanese descent. There will also be a number of musicians participating, such as the Japanese pop group Loverin Tamburin. The programme features various exhibitions on Japanese authors and illustrators. On the catering side, the event will feature Michelin-star chefs including Ricardo Sanz and Jordi Roca.

Catalan vineyard first in Europe to produce wine in a dry stone vat reviving an old method

October 21, 2014 05:25 PM | ACN

Abadal wine cellar, in Pla de Bages appelation in central Catalonia, is the first in Europe to begin fermenting their grapes in big vats of dry Stone located outdoors, in the midst of the vineyards. The method is at once innovative and traditional, as it is the revival of an old tradition common in Europe during the 19th century. This Monday, experts in the making of wine tasted the results of the first vintage, of which there are 600 bottles that will not be sold. Many described the wine as "exceptional". According to Abadal winemaker Miguel Palau, the method is highly unconventionalbecause it allows the uncommon option of blending grapes, here all 10 varieties, together and fermenting them outdoors. The result is apparently sharp and fresh, with balsamic notes due to its unusual fermentation.

Sitges International Film festival, specialised in fantasy and horror movies, opens this Friday

October 2, 2014 10:10 PM | ACN / Nell English

Film buffs and festival fans will be flocking to Sitges these next 10 days, as the 47th Sitges International Film Festival opens this Friday, a long-awaited event after the success of previous years. Catalan filmmaker Jaume Balagueró will open the festival, with the latest in his popular REC series, ‘REC 4: Apocalypse’. The festival, which already sold nearly 32,000 tickets early this week, has a budget of €1.7 million, 2.5% more than last year. The event is anticipated to have a “wider programme than ever” according to the Festival’s Director, Ángel Sala. While under the umbrella of all things sinister and fantastic, the line-up will include everything from the latest gems to classics of the genre and a wide selection of fictional feature films, shorts and documentaries.

Barcelona-based chef Jean Luc Figueras dies in Turkey

September 4, 2014 09:07 PM | ACN

The French chef Jean Luc Figueras died on Wednesday night in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, in a sudden cardiac arrest. The news was announced as part of a statement from the Mercer Hotel Barcelona, where the chef ran his current restaurant. Jean Luc Figueras had a long career as a chef at the best restaurants in Barcelona and he had held a Michelin star for a past project. One year ago he started work as the head chef at the 5-star Mercer Hotel Barcelona, an establishmed designed by Rafael Moneo within a Gothic Palace and which included the Roman city wall from the 1st century. Figueras died whilst participating in a team of chefs in Ankara's festival of Mediterranean cuisine called 'Mediterranean Culinary Days'.

Clàssic Penedès: A new name in sparkling wine

August 21, 2014 09:08 PM | ACN

Producers of sparkling wine from Catalonia's Penedès region have chosen the brand name 'Clàssic Penedès' to identify their product. This variety is not Cava but rather a sparkling wine produced under stricter regulations to ensure the product is of a higher quality. Wine under the Clàssic Penedès name can only use grapes which are 100% organic and which come from the Penedès wine appellation. Josep Maria Albert, the President of the Penedès appellation, announced that this year the grapes in this region are maturing particularly early and, as of this week, some vineyards are already manufacturing the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varieties of wine. The winemaker stated that this season, due to weather conditions, "there will be between a 10% to 15% drop in the quantity of wine from last year, but, despite this decrease in production, the wine will be better quality".

Glass and iron container suspended over a river showcases the best Catalan cuisine in Girona

August 11, 2014 08:19 PM | ACN

A new and surprising temporary restaurant, named El Vol Espai Gastronòmic, has opened in Girona, in north-eastern Catalonia, to host some of the best Catalan chefs, such as Joan Roca, whose establishment was named the world's best restaurant in 2013. El Vol is partly suspended over the Onyar River and is a glass and iron structure, transparent and white, which is 20 meters long, weighs 28 tons and is situated in Girona's historic neighbourhood. After just 10 days running, and despite the fact that it only serves lunch and dinner to small groups of 18 customers, it already has 1,100 reservations and some 20 top chefs confirmed to be working there for a few days each during the next year. The new venue is expected to showcase the best of Girona's cuisine and has already sparked much international interest amongst journalists, culinary experts and tour operators from all over the world.

Renowned Catalan chefs raise funds for children at the Grand Theatre of Liceu

June 30, 2014 10:32 PM | ACN

On Sunday 29 June, a stellar cast performed 'Ferran Adrià and the factory of solidarity food', a comedy show which aimed to share the secrets of Catalan haute cuisine while raising money for the Casal dels Infants, a community centre for children in need. The Grand Theatre of Liceu was chosen as the venue where internationally renowned Catalan chefs Ferran Adrià, Carme Ruscalleda, Cristian Escribà and Joan Roca demonstrated how to cook in an 18th century kitchen, to commemorate the tercentenary of the War of Spanish Succession of 1714. Familiar faces such as journalist Josep Cuní or chef Alberto Chicote also participated in the show.

The new Camp Nou Lounge is unveiled as a gastronomic attraction this summer

May 29, 2014 02:37 PM

FC Barcelona has opened a new quality gastronomic space with exclusive views of the Barça's Stadium, as part of the Camp Nou Experience tour. From this week and until mid-August, the first tier of the stadium is converted a space where visitors can enjoy quality cuisine with a privileged panoramic view of the ground. This is just one of the many new attractions that FC Barcelona has prepared so that people visiting the club this summer can enjoy the most complete leisure and catering experience possible. In this space, apart from a wide range of Damm beers, including the beer created in collaboration with Catalan chef Ferran Adrià and the team from El Bulli called Inedit, visitors can enjoy hot and cold tapas, desserts and ice creams.

Catalan El Celler de Can Roca is ranked the world’s second best restaurant after topping the list in 2013

April 28, 2014 10:33 PM | ACN

Girona-based El Celler de Can Roca, the family restaurant run by the 3 Roca Brothers, continues to be considered among the world’s very best places to eat by ‘Restaurant’ magazine, which gives the sector’s main international awards each year at a gala in London. However, the Catalan establishment has not topped the 2014 ranking as it did in 2013 but has been considered the second best in this sort of cuisine Oscars, a recognition it had already obtained in 2012 and 2011. First place was for the Danish Noma - run by René Redzepi – which had already topped the ranking in 2012, 2011 and 2010. In addition, the youngest brother, Jordi, who is in charge of El Celler de Can Roca’s desserts, has been awarded the world’s best pastry chef, a title given for the first time this year. Since 2002, a Catalan restaurant has topped the annual ranking on 6 occasions and has been second best in 6 others.

Alimentaria trade fair congregates 140,000 visitors and 3,800 agri-food companies in Barcelona

April 1, 2014 08:37 PM | ACN

More than 300 innovations from the agri-food industry are presented between the 31st of March and the 3rd of April in Alimentaria, one of the main trade fairs for this sector in Europe. The 20th edition of this event, which takes place in the Catalan capital every two years, focuses on innovation and internationalisation. In fact, 40,000 visitors, 30% of the total 140,000 visitors, are foreigners. In addition, as explained by the Director General of Alimentaria, Antoni Valls, this year the organisers have managed to assemble 600 of the world's main international buyers, which is double the number at the previous fair in 2012. These top buyers have already arrived for 8,000 pre-scheduled business meetings with the 3,800 exhibiting companies at the fair, which occupies 94,500 square metres of Fira de Barcelona's Gran Via venue.

Ferran Adrià’s ‘elBulli1846’ culinary and research project completed by March 2016

February 10, 2014 08:06 PM | ACN

‘elBulli1846’, the ambitious initiative of acclaimed Chef Ferran Adrià, could well become a reality in March 2016 thanks to a €9 million investment made through the Catalan Chef’s foundation. The Catalan Government described such an initiative as “a national project”. ‘elBulli1846’ is named after the number of dishes created in the 3-Michelin-star El Bulli, which was awarded the world’s best restaurant on 5 occasions. Adrià’s new project is notably looking to establish a unique centre in the world for innovation, research, and training in the field of avant-garde cuisine. Besides, for 20 days a year, visitors will have access to ElBulli restaurant, with half of the available entrances awarded for free through a lottery. The centre will be located in the old restaurant’s venue in the Cap de Creus Natural Park (Costa Brava). 3,000 square metres will be added but built respecting the environment.

Catalan co-production 'Aloft' by Claudia Llosa and film on the Roca Chefs, at the 2014 Berlinale

February 6, 2014 03:32 PM | ACN / Pere Francesch

Catalan cinema will once again play a significant part in this year’s prestigious Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), with the presentation of two feature films and one short-film. The Catalan co-production Aloft ('No ploris, vola'), by Claudia Llosa, who also directed the 2009 Golden Bear winner The Milk of Sorrow, will compete in the official section of the festival, held between the 6th and the 16th of February. ‘El somni’ (The Dream) directed by Franc Aleu and centred on the creative dishes of the Roca brothers, universally acclaimed Catalan Chefs, will be screened during the ‘Culinary session’ of the festival. Finally, short-film lovers will discover ‘TABA, El Juego En La Mesa’ (TABA, Table Games), directed by Pep Gatell and Eloi Colom, and produced by the ‘Fura dels Baus’ a Barcelona theatrical group famous for its innovative performances.

Exhibition on Catalan Chef Ferran Adrià in New York

January 20, 2014 05:29 PM | ACN

The Drawing Centre in New York will host an exhibition focused on the creative mind of internationally famous Chef Ferran Adrià, who used to run El Bulli, deemed the world’s best restaurant on five occasions. Adrià’s cuisine is characterised by taking a molecular approach towards cooking. Called both genius and insanity, the Catalan Chef’s goal was to push the boundaries of modern gastronomy, by embracing innovation and tantalising the senses in a spectacle of scientifically precise yet artistically creative food. This new exhibition entitled Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity will reveal such a creative process. The exhibition will run in New York from the 25th of January to the 28th of February before moving to Cleveland in September.