One year after the throne of beer

A dinner in Girona, the lessons learnt and a few tips. What remains of Premio Grand Gru

16-11-2013
Kadeau restaurant in Bornholm, in Denmark, is wher

Kadeau restaurant in Bornholm, in Denmark, is where Christian Milone had "one of the 3 dinners of a lifetime". The chef from Pinerolo wishes the winner of the third edition of Premio Birra Grand Cru, to be chosen on Monday, to experience the same emotions he lived during this last year (foto troelso.wordpress.com)

2. see part one

We say goodbye to Denmark and we move on to Spain. Barcelona. The first thought goes to the Olympic games, to Fabio Casartelli’s Olympic cycling performance... a golden medal that a few years later was transformed into a hard stone on the roads of France. He passed away when he was little over 20... a shiver. The same shiver arrives on the rambla late at night, in the city of great tapas and sangria, the city in which you eat well at all times of day and at a reasonable price. Even here, we had a hotel in a strategic place, in front of the Boqueria, the amusement park for any chef who’s in love with his job, a few metres away from the Taller of the Adrià brothers... The Taller, do you understand?! This is where the revolution of Spanish cuisine started from!

Jordi, Josep and Joan Roca, El Celler de Can Roca, Girona

Jordi, Josep and Joan Roca, El Celler de Can Roca, Girona

So, off we go: we rent a car and drive to Girona. We catch sight of the Celler in a rather undistinguished neighbourhood. As soon as we enter, however, we are like teleported into a non-place. We are the first guests, it’s our wedding anniversary. We immerse ourselves into the atmosphere of the restaurant which is slowly filled to its maximum capacity. In the end we receive the greetings of Jordi, left without his brothers to support the weight of a structure that looks like an unstoppable battleship. He takes us on a nice tour of the kitchen, up to the most private and hidden corner. We return to Barcelona when it’s already morning and the brain keeps on working...

Now that it’s all over, now that in a few days my successor will be chosen, what are the thoughts that remain? Abroad, great restaurants work at full speed: they were all full and reservations had been made long in advance. People are more keen than in Italy to live a great experience of cuisine: seeing clients in flip-flops or vests, or with a newspaper open, on the table, is not a usual thing in places of this level. Some great lessons, are they not??

David Toutain, Agapé Substance, Parigi (photo by www.germanopratines.fr)

David Toutain, Agapé Substance, Parigi (photo by www.germanopratines.fr)

Wait a second, though. How is it possible that after eating in half of Europe I haven’t even mentioned a dish? How could I not give any details on the dishes tasted? I didn’t want to disappoint you, I preferred to express the emotions I experienced. A sterile list of dishes would have debased the exceptional character of my travels. However, I would like to give you a few non-obvious tips. In Paris, don’t miss the pigeon or they oysters served at Agape Substance: first class raw materials. In Copenhagen visit Kadeau, one of the best three experiences in my life. And in Barcelona, feel at home at La Gardunya, right behind La Boqueria. Order all sorts of traditional tapas and sangria. I did so and I will keep those emotions with me for all my life...

Finally, good luck to all the finalists of the third Premio Birra Moretti Grand Cru: a year rich in satisfaction and emotions awaits you.

2. the end


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