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Gastronomy & Wine

Gastronomy & Wine

Jordi Roca – star pastry chef

The youngest of the Roca brothers, Jordi, is a real star among pastry chefs. In addition to his personal projects, he is in charge of the desserts at El Celler de Can Roca, which he co-owns with his brothers.
One of the unusual ideas Jordi came up with are his perfume-inspired desserts. It was quite by chance that he discovered a new ingredient – bergamot, a very fragrant citrus fruit. And it was another discovery when he realized that the Calvin Klein Eternity perfume brilliantly reveals the aroma of bergamot with hints of vanilla, mandarin and orange blossom. The chef decided to combine these flavours in a dessert. It was quite risky, but the result amazed him. As Jordi himself admits, the next day he went to perfumery and opened up a whole world of new ideas that he later implemented in his desserts.

Author: Julia Chesnokova
Telegram: Chesnokova.News
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chessnokova

Gastronomy & Wine

Mountain gastronomy from the Pyrenees

The Vall de Nuria Hotel in Queralbs recently hosted the seventh annual GastroPirineus Gastronomy Days. After two years of being online, the event was again broadcast live, which allowed professionals from the world of gastronomy of the region to meet.
The meetings were attended by local producers from the field of agriculture and animal husbandry, winemakers, sommeliers and chefs from different parts of the Catalan and Andorran Pyrenees. Several show programs were presented, both of modern and more traditional cuisine. Undoubtedly, special attention was paid to the classic dishes of the “mountain” cuisine (cuina de muntanya).
The title of “Discovery of the Year” went to Eli Farrero and her restaurant El Ventador (Barruera).

GastroPirineus

El Ventador (Barruera)

Author: Julia Chesnokova
Telegram: Chesnokova.News
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chessnokova

Gastronomy & Wine

Angelic Winery and Jancis Robinson

In September 2021, wine expert Jancis Robinson, known for her popular blog JancisRobinson.com and column in the Financial Time, published a wonderful article about the Empordà region where our hotel is located.
She rated local wines on her own 20-point scale, and today we want to highlight one of the wineries that received high marks from J. Robinson: Sota Els Àngels winery (literally “Under the Angels”).
Their wines Presència (2017) and Sota els Àngels Tinto Edición Extraordinària (2019) received excellent ratings of 16.5 (excellent +) and 17 (excellent). Both are definitely worth a try, as are the many other wines from this small winery nestled in the green just outside La Bisbal.

Empordà – reviving Catalan heritage

Author: Julia Chesnokova
Telegram: Chesnokova.News
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chessnokova

Gastronomy & Wine

Catalan paella

Paella is one of the favorite dishes in Catalonia and it is impossible to visit Barcelona, for example, and not try this traditional dish. A bit of history… Since the end of the 19th century, the Barceloneta area has become famous for this dish among the very first tourists and among the locals. Tasting seafood and paella in Barceloneta then became part of the musts when visiting Barcelona.
Fortunately, there are places where even today they treat paella with special trepidation. So in Barcelona we recommend to look into Mana75. In ALÀBRIGA our Chef Xavi Perera makes one of the best paellas on Costa Brava! We definately recommend to stop by and try it !

Mana75

Author: Julia Chesnokova
Telegram: Chesnokova.News
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chessnokova

Gastronomy & Wine

Cocktail bar in Cadaqués

The summer season with its magical nights is very close, and a good cocktail on the very edge of the waves can come in handy. Especially if the bar’s regulars were Salvador Dali, Richard Hamilton, Man Ray, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kirk Douglas… and this is not a complete list.
The Boia bar is a historic place in Cadaqués that transforms into Boia Nit during summer nights. This mixological paradise is run by Manel Vehi, who was professionally shaped behind the bar counters of El Bullí, Tickets and The Aviary.
Keep in mind, making a choice will not be easy. His most famous cocktails are Pura Vida, Acapulco, El Chapo or travel-inspired Gin Kontos. Or you can pay homage to the city by ordering Sex in Cadaqués, the Costa Brava or Anai dedicated to Cadaqués! The choice is yours!

BOIANIT

Author: Julia Chesnokova
Telegram: Chesnokova.News
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chessnokova

Gastronomy & Wine

Why does a bottle of Vega Sicilia cost as much as it does?

Luxury brands are born, gain market share, and then may fall with or without a chance for revival. And only a very few retain the stability, corporate identity and business models that remain unchanged over the years.
In the wine world, Vega Sicilia certainly belongs to the latter category. For decades it has been one of the most recognizable wineries in Spain and beyond.
Bodega Vega Sicilia has a history of more than 150 years (it was founded in 1864 in Valbuena de Duero), but the real success was brought by the Alvarez family, who began to manage the brand in the early 80s of the XX century.
As one of the most exclusive clubs in Spain with just over 5,000 members from 115 countries, including private clients, restaurants and wine boutiques, Vega Sicilia carefully selects each client before allowing their wine to be bought directly from the winery at a fixed price and with guaranteed number of bottles. Such a right is even inherited, while other people can languish in line for years, and there is no end to those who want to receive such a privilege!
Vega Sicilia does not invest in advertising or wine tourism, but its prestige remains unchanged and the quality of the wines stuns even the most demanding connoisseurs.
Vega Sicilia Único gives a special thrill for collectors and connoisseurs – an excellent vintage reserve, which is still the flagship of the winery. The wine of this line usually goes on sale 10 years after the harvest, and the price increases five or even 10 times over the years.
Bottles of old and valuable wines, in addition to being very difficult to obtain, are already reaching astronomical prices. For example, Sotheby’s in New York sold a batch of 23 vintage bottles from the 1960s and 1970s for $102,000.
According to Vivino and its 40 million users, Vega Sicilia Único 1995 and 96 is the best representative of Spain among the top 50 red wines in the world with a rating of 4.8 out of 5.
The Repsol wine guide gives Único a 99 out of 100 possible points, while renowned wine critic Robert Parke gives it a rare 98 points!
Buying items like Único is also a good investment that will double or even triple over the time. Well, it’s hard to describe the taste in a nutshell! It is so unique even for Ribera del Duero that it is impossible to forget it!

Author: NL
Telegram: TryWineClub
Instagram: TryWineClub

Gastronomy & Wine

ALÀBRIGA Wine Club

ALÀBRIGA Wine Club

ALÀBRIGA Wine Club is an exclusive community of wine connoisseurs. Curious about what awaits its members? We are preparing club events, exclusive wine tastings, presentations of unique wine sets and wine lists from world famous restaurants and of course we will have wine talks. And our experts definitely know a lot to tell you! At the hotel we have put together an impressive collection of wines. Its value and style delight not only our guests, but also wine professionals. Today we want to start a series of publications about the wines in our collection that deserve a special mention. Among them there are world famous specimens, as well as privileged wines of small circulation that can be known to a limited number of connoisseurs. To purchase them is not easy, better if one personally knows the winemaker. In our next post we will talk about the pearl of our collection – a cabinet of wines of different years from the Spanish winery Vega Sicilia…

Telegram: TryWineClub
Instagram: TryWineClub

Gastronomy & Wine

Organic markets worth visiting

Decision making can sometimes be difficult, but one thing has become clear to many: the focus on sustainability in its various forms is becoming more of a guide.
Thus, in 2007, several residents of the Empordà region, united by a common interest in eco-food, eco-architecture and care for the environment, founded the Món Empordà Association. Over time, more and more businessmen and farmers, aiming at respect for the environment and responsible production, joined the Association. This is how the markets where local “0 KM” products are sold have emerged. They move from one city to another during a week. Visiting them is an experience and fun.

https://www.monemporda.org

Author: Julia Chesnokova
Telegram: Chesnokova.News
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chessnokova

Gastronomy & Wine

Kitchen of the Wind

Who are they, the people who make up the group La Cuina del Vent (literal translation from Catalan – “Kitchen of the Wind”)?
Created in 2004, this Alt Empordà community of cooks and restaurants definitely deserves a special mention. All participants are professionals in their field, inspired by the idea of promoting products, cuisine and traditions of their region.
The community creates and supports events such as gastronomic breakfasts at wineries as part of the Vivid wine season or tasting dinners at the Dalí Museum, for example on the occasion of last summer’s Month of Surrealism.
So, it will be interesting to follow their future projects to all gourmets who happen to be in the area.

La Cuina del Vent

Empordà Origen

Author: Julia Chesnokova
Telegram: Chesnokova.News
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chessnokova

Gastronomy & Wine

Cozy restaurant on the beach

It is well known that the interior of the restaurant and its atmosphere are as important for the success of the establishment as its menu. We´ve got further proof of this when we visited the La Blava restaurant in Calella de Palafrugell, a 25-minute drive from our hotel.
Wooden furniture, white walls, nautical style and simplicity in everything, what could be better when the water’s edge is only ten meters away. The atmosphere of this restaurant is largely created by the surroundings, the whiteness of the buildings and the sound of the waves. And excellent cuisine is a logical addition.
The menu abounds in seafood and fish, as well as snacks for large groups. We suggest you try rice dishes, they are excellent here.

LA BLAVA RESTAURANT

Author: Julia Chesnokova
Telegram: Chesnokova.News
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chessnokova

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