Date: June 21, 2013 / Barcelona
My dear friends,
It’s been three weeks since I left London for Barcelona on June 1st. From the messages you sent me, I know you are rather worried about me and wondering if everything’s going all right. Some of you even want to accommodate me in London if I am treated improperly in the Barcelona restaurant. Knowing you are the ones I may really count on, I’d take the bold step fearlessly towards my next exploration.
I’ve been hankering for learning the Mediterranean cuisine and am drawn to the glamour and excitement of Barcelona where I’ve visited twice with Richard. Nevertheless, the backbreaking working in the restaurant was quite difficult though. During the first week, I’d been worn myself to a frazzle trying to help the chef in the kitchen. Fortunately, the talent Italian chef, Gabrielle, has been very tolerant to me – a novice apprentice.
[[ Italian Cusine ]]
↑This is the reputable Italian restaurant “ Per Bacco “ where I’ve been working for weeks. Address: Avinguda Diagonal , 339, 08037, Barcelona, Spain. TEL # +34 934 76 28 38 / Official Web Site: perbaccobarcelona.com 我在這家義大利餐廳工作,當主廚的助手/學徒。
↑The bar where people having drinks while waiting for a table.
↑The chic Piaggio Vespa is Massimo's birthday gift which just arrived two days ago. We all love it.
↑The little tiny kitchen where I’ve been spending most of the time helping the chef to prepare the Italian dishes.當廚師,從清晨忙到凌晨,真的很辛苦啊。廚房裡水深火熱的; 燒開沸騰的煮麵水從沒停過,眼前4,5個爐火燒個不停,腳下還有發燙的烤箱,真的很像地獄啊。接下來夏天會更慘。在這兒的第一週,工作結束半夜全身油膩膩髒兮兮回到家,只能從頭洗到腳,洗完澡躺下來根本睡不著,腦子仍團團轉(前幾個小時的晚餐時間真的太忙太忙了),還在廚房做戰的感覺啊。真的要睡著都是三四點的事了,真教人吃不消。
↑我準備的前菜。The simple dish I prepare " Burrata con tomate seco y tomate cherry ". Simple combination of Burrata cheese, green salad including rugola ( rocket in English ), sun-dried tomato, and fresh cherry tomato drizzle with pesto di basilica ( basil olive oil sauce ).
Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture."Burrata" means "buttered" in Italian. 菜單上的Appetizer通常都是簡單易學的前菜,義大利料理講究食材新鮮品質要好,廚師能發揮的,只是將不同食材之間做最完美的搭配,將食材本身的味道與特色盡量彰顯出來而已,不過度調味。這就是我和小孩喜愛義大利料理最主要的原因。忍不住又想嘮叨,許多台灣義大利餐廳端出許多黏黏惆稠的紅白醬汁或焗東焗西,口味不僅濃重又油膩,根本與義大利地中海料理天差地別了。
↑另一道我準備的前菜。Another appetizer I prepare “" Bocconcini di mozzarella con prosciutto croccante e balsamico ". Every morning, I have to roll the sliced mozzarella with prosciutto. Pan-fry it after having order, ( then the prosciutto become croccante / crunchy in English. ) drizzling with Italian vinaigretta Balsamico, and a little decorating before serving. It's very delicious! 每天早上,我先將每大球Mozzarelle切成條, 再用義大利風乾生火腿捲起來,待客人點菜後再快煎30秒,淋上vinaigretta Balsamico醬汁,盤飾,然後上菜。主廚說我有天份啊...我覺得我味覺沒點天份(小孩才有), 但視覺上的美感還有一點。但不瞞你說,每次端上白色餐盤,準備上菜,手中就像握著畫筆,菜色像我的顏料一樣,忍不住想要這樣擺那樣放,胡搞一陣直到要上菜了還不滿意...。
↑另一道我準備的前菜。主廚Gabrielle已經可以放心讓我全權準備大部份的前菜, 直接上給客人這些我準備的Appetizer囉了,心裡當然很開心!The appetizer I prepared " Insalata di rucola, parmigiano, prosciutto di Parma e riduzione di aceto balsamico ". Another great simplicity which is very tasty.
↑" Spaghetti allo Scoglio " / Seafood Spaghetti prepared by the chef.
↑I tried to repeat this dish at home for my best friends Maria and Josef. They loved it. 這是我週末在家試做的Spaghetti allo Scoglio。小孩超愛這道菜。不好意思這樣說, 但我做的好像比我們家主廚做得好吃。我的mussel淡菜&貝類會先用空鍋蒸開,濾出鮮貝及淡菜原汁; 我的蕃茄丁在橄欖油中收歛得比較久,酸酸甜甜的味道更濃郁,更精緻; parsley西洋芹跟海鮮無敵對味,所以我用比較多等等。這道菜的主角之一,仍是美味的Extra Vigin Olive Oil初榨橄欖油。朋友Maria and Josef都很喜歡我做的這道Spaghetti allo Scoglio。
↑Pizza Chef Christian. 我的Pizza主廚老師,總是默默地全神專注在他的工作上,自成一個安靜的小宇宙。我很喜歡餐廳裡隨時瀰漫著烤麵包的香氣, 一種很簡單的,幸福的味道; 就像在台灣家裡一樣, 我喜歡用烤手工麵包的香氣, 喚醒週末的小孩。
↑義大利老闆情侶搭擋。The owner is from Donodossola, northern Italy. The young couple, Massimo and Nina, run this restaurant for four years making their way in life. They take pride in keeping his food fresh and authentic.
↑My pizza chef / teacher, Christian.
↑My 195 cm teacher / chef of Italian cuisine, Gabrielle, who is from Como, northern Italy.
I am truly blessed working with decent great fellows and feel very grateful to be part of this marvelous young team.我的義大利主廚老師,195公分的Gabrielle主廚,做菜時一絲不茍,充滿熱情,私下相處起來卻天真得像跟孩子一樣。我真的非常幸運。
[[ Spanish Cuisine ]]
I'd got an great interview opportunity with a famous Spanish cooking school in La Rambla, Barcelona. Mr. Candido and Mrs. Emma, the owner of " Barcelona Cooking School ", decided to recruit me as an assistant to help the chef during the lessons. This unique experience is definitely what I'm really looking forward to having in Barcelona!
This Spanish cooking school is not only for tourists from all over the world, but also for the local Spanish people. Its rise to fame is quite phenomenal - in less than two years it is a household name.
As soon as I walk in, they make me feel like extremely comfortable stating they want me to relax and feel like I'm at home cooking in my own kitchen.
"Barcelona Cooking “ Address: La Rambla, 58, 08002 Barcelona, Espanya.
+34 931 19 19 86 barcelonacooking.net
↑Candido is very passionate, warm, caring, sensitive to students’ need. He has vibrant personality and gets a great sense of humour during the lesson which I do love it. Leading people to see how cooking ( or human's life ) could be full of fun.
↑The owner Emma is trusting, open, and vital. And the chef Candido clearly loves honest food and sharing his knowledge with others about the culinary traditions of Barcelona.
↑This master piece was created by the chef yesterday. He is really an artist.
↑“ Tosta de Boquerones con Salsa Romesco “ - Anchovy Toast with Romesco Sauce which is very tasty.
↑Fideua – another version of paella. Instead of rice, there’re short noodles used in Fideua.
↑Cold soup “ Gazpacho “ – cold tomato soup delicately flavoured with strawberry which is exquisite, sophisticated, and very refreshing. It was such an exciting adventure towards a whole new world where I'd never been!
↑The best Fideua I’ve ever had. ^_^
↑To serve the paella dishes with chef.
Our chef may have kind of magic power over people being able to bring a smile to people's face like this.The students were was always energetic, exciting, and full of enthusiasm during the lessons. ^_^
↑Another private lesson especially designed for a Spanish local company of 23 people on June 19th.
The lesson was well planned & organized with people split up into different tasks. Under the guidance of Chef Candido, amazing dishes included
the appetizer “Tosta de Anchoa” / Anchovy Toast,
an exciting and refreshing “Gazpacho” / the cold soup,
the incredible “ Paella de Marisco “ / seafood paella.
And they culminated a delicious “ Crema Catalana “, Crème brûlée in Spanish style, but even more refreshing.
↑The appetizer “Tosta de Anchoa” / Anchovy Toast.
↑People were laughed, learned (while sipping unlimited good wine), relaxed, having fun and & ate very well. This is definitely the cooking lesson I want to join.
↑The sophisticated and very refreshing “Gazpacho” / the cold soup.
↑Paella de Marisco / seafood paella - the best one I've ever had.
↑" Sopa Fria de Melon con Jamon Iberico y Menta Aceite de Oliva " ( Melon Cold Soup with Iberico Ham Bites and Mint Olive Oil in English ), prepared by the attendees under the instruction of the chef.
↑They culminated a delicious “ Crema Catalana “ which everybody loved it.
[[ Appreciation ]]
My dear Richard,
I'm so grateful to you for all that you've done for me. I could never have went through all these little difficult and unpleasant things without you. I do extremely appreciate it.
Dear Maria and Josef,
Thanks for all your accompany from the first day I arrived in Barcelona. It’s been an extraordinary journey and I’m so lucky having both of you beside me.
Yesterday Candido's lesson was quite a eye-opener for me. I felt quite emotional when people had few rounds of thunderous applause admiring the marvelous chef. Candido was humble and said something like " ... I did nothing but the honour is all yours...." I was even more touched.
My exploration in Barcelona has exceeded my expectations in various aspects. I figured it would be fun but not like this fabulous way. Till now I just can't believe my luck. I am very grateful to all these new friends for their kindness and generosity for showing me the smashing times. It was not only for Mediterranean cuisine, cooking, or gastronomy, but also about humans. I know I'm at the right place and meeting the right persons to learn from. Connecting to people, sharing the same passions for cuisine and enjoying wonderful life. For me this was a great way to what it means to travel and living in Barcelona.
More articles about my travel and living
in Italy -
in United Kingdom of Great Britain -
in Greek Islands -
in Spain -
In Croatia -
in New Zealand -
in Netherlands -
in France -
and in my beautiful home country Taiwan -