Catalans are proud of the culture, language and heritage, which they say makes the region different from the rest of Spain. Locally produced food is becoming increasingly popular as residents and tourists seek to enjoy the unique tastes of Catalonia.
Catalan chef Sergi de Meià knows a thing or two about preserving ancient recipes. His recently launched Barcelona restaurant has a very clear goal: to make uncomplicated Catalan cuisine with 100 percent local produce.
De Meià’s mother inspired his love of cooking and remains at his side in the kitchen, working at the stove from as early as 7 a.m. As a member of the Foundation Institute of Catalan Cuisine and Gastronomic Culture, de Meià is an official ambassador of Catalan cuisine.
The Foundation was created in 1996 when a group of food historians, gastronomes, nutritionists and chefs united in the common interest of preserving Catalan cuisine. As an active member of the foundation, de Meià’s menu must contain at least 40 percent of Catalan dishes made of local produce.
De Meià is not the only young Catalan promoting local produce and traditions. Aborigens Barcelona is a food tour operator who invites visitors to explore the flavors of Catalan cuisine through wine cellars, artisan food producers, fishermen and renowned local chefs.
Castro talks proudly of the hidden gastronomic corners of his country, and his eyes glow as he describes the history behind each ingredient. Between a chat on the delights of Catalan cheese and a glass of Vermouth at an original Bodega, customers will certainly find the experience satisfying.