The world famous cuisine of Barcelona
This week’s newsletter focuses on Barcelona’s wonderful food scene, the flavours, food markets and restaurants that make it a legendary destination for epicures.
Barcelona’s cuisine is world famous, a magnificent mix of local produce threaded with influences from right across Spain and France. Think of the vineyards of Priorat, the seafood fresh from the Med, the cured sausage from Vic, the vegetables from El Maresme and of course the skill of the worldclass chefs working in the city. Catalonia has more Michelin stars than any other Spanish region, with a total of 19 restaurants in Barcelona winning a prized award.
At Antares, we are fortunate to have Michelin-starred chef Romain Fornell at the helm in The Grand Café Rouge. Born in Toulouse and with a CV that includes experience with Michel Sarran and Alain Ducasse, Romain is the only French chef to have been awarded a Michelin star in both France and Spain. He outlines his ethos at The Grand Café Rouge and dips into his exclusive black book of contacts to tell us where he chooses to eat in Barcelona on a rare night off.
We look forward to welcoming you to The Grand Café Rouge soon and hope this newsletter provides plenty of inspiration for your next visit to our great city.
The Antares Team
THE GRAND CAFÉ ROUGE
Antares’ statement colours of red, black and white, the curvaceous design of Odile Decq and the quality of the Mediterranean light are echoed perfectly in The Grand Café Rouge, our elegant and welcoming French bistro-style restaurant. Michelin starred chef Romain Fornell’s menu is based around classic French dishes with a menu that features oysters, acorn-fed Iberian ham, tuna carpaccio and flambeed beef tenderloin. Dine on the terrace, take a seat in the main restaurant or pull up a chair to the bar to watch the chefs at work.
CHEF ROMAIN’S BARCELONA SELECTION
Romain Fornell won his first Michelin star when he was just 24, following up that early success with another awarded in 2005. He has worked in Barcelona since 2002 and today, he leads Goût Rouge, a Barcelona-based restaurant group with ten unique restaurants including Le Grand Café Rouge.
What makes Barcelona such a special venue for connoisseurs? “It has the perfect balance between traditional tapas cuisine, hearty guisos cuisine and avant-garde cuisine,” Romain says. “This mix of modern and classic cooking coexists perfectly. Barcelona’s traditions have not been swept away by international chains and the city retains its true essence.”
THE RESTAURANTS ROMAIN RECOMMENDS INCLUDE:
- ESTIMAR: Talented chef Rafa Zafra serves seafood grilled to perfection.
- GRESCA: Rafa Penya, at work in an open kitchen, demonstrates his skill with contemporary Catalan cuisine.
- BOTAFUMEIRO: A traditional seafood restaurant with an unbeatable bar.
- ENIGMA: Albert Adria, a genius and one of the most celebrated chefs worldwide, transports you to another dimension.
- TORRE D’ALTA MAR: Cutting-edge cuisine and spectacular city and sea views in the kitchen of Barceloneta-born Oscar Manresa.
BARCELONA’S FOOD MARKETS
La Boquería, behind its heavy metal doors on La Rambla, is a Barcelona institution but while it might be the best-known food market in all of Spain and quite possibly the world, there are plenty of others in Barcelona that deserve a visit. Mercat de Sant Antoni, Mercat de la Concepció close to the Sagrada Familia with its explosion of floral beauty, and Mercat de la Barceloneta all have a lengthy history and a loyal local following.
For an extensive history of La Boquería, pick up a copy of “My Boquería: Stories, Characters, Recipes.” by chef Oscar Manresa, who guides you on a stall-by-stall tour of this much-loved market.