The new creative food force of Barcelona
The Spanish economy was one of the worst hit during the recession, and it still is struggling to make its way back to more secure footing. Many feared that as a result of the economy, the food industry that has previously triumphed in Barcelona would lose traction and disintegrate back into the kitchens of traditional Catalan homes. This partly came true – many of the impressive restaurants that lined the streets of Barcelona have all but vanished, leaving behind a new assortment of restaurants for the public to taste. Though, online cooking school students will be glad to know, some of the traditional Barcelona restaurants that gave the city its claim to tapas fame still stand tall, partly in thanks to its many tourists.
The changes that have come over the Barcelona food scene are stark, making it evident that the economy is continually impacting chef’s choices for dishes served. But luckily, the chefs have not moved out, they have only re-imagined their craft in a more inexpensive way. Gone are the days when chefs relied on the most exotic and rare ingredients, popular now is fare ruled by accessibility.
“The high gastronomy formula doesn’t work now,” Chef Albert Adrià of Bodega 1900 told The New York Times.
This is true, given that many Barcelona restaurants have now closed, including Can Fabes, which won three Michelin stars every year from 1994 until 2011. But even though Can Fabes and other Michelin eateries have passed on, chefs have taken their craft to cantinas of a different order. Some have gone to Barceloneta to open small seaside joints where they serve a new version of elite carnival cuisine. Those who have remained in Barcelona have opened tapas bars where creative technique combines with familiar feast.
The restaurants in town are smaller, charge less for their meals and want to be seen as a go-to for locals on the weekends. This is a scene that can be found all around the world since the economy has changed, but Barcelona still touts its well-trained chefs who serve a blend of new gastronomical techniques with traditional Catalan and global flavors.
“Anxiety over economic circumstances has stimulated the ingenuity and creativity to create new proposals at interesting prices,” Fermì Puig of Restaurant Fermì Puig told the source. “I think it is a very attractive moment for the renewal of the city’s gastronomic offerings.”
Barcelona is going back to its roots while staying creative – following fresh trends, but keeping locals pleased.