What’s Next For Spain’s Foodie Scene?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

With Ferran Adria closing shop in December, Spain is shutting the door on what will surely be looked upon as a storied moment in culinary history, as well as looking forward to what is to come in a country where food and wine are treated with the kind of respect (rightly so) that retirement accounts and job titles are in other countries.

The New Zealand Herald recently traveled to the Iberian Peninsula to check out what’s new in the world of dining there. Starting off in Madrid, they noted how tapas — long a staple here — has been given an upscale makeover, elevating it from simple counter food to fine dining. Such is the case at El Cabrera, helmed by Michelin-starred chef Sergi Aroa, where upscale cocktails are served with tapas to fit.

In the north, in the city of Galicia, locally-sourced food is par for the course, fitting for a region where much of Spain’s seafood hails from. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Asbastos 2.0.

Another sign of how the face of Spanish cuisine is changing, however, is Asbastos 2.0 . . . Owner Iago Pazos and chef Marcos Cerqueiro create new dishes each day based on what they’ve found at the market.

The dishes are announced on a computer screen at the end of the restaurant as they are brought to the table in their exquisite, dainty glory: minced Galician pork sausage empanada; berberechos espresso – or fresh cockles steamed for just seconds in an espresso machine; mackerel that has been marinated for eight hours in oil and soy and served with wasabi seaweed with pickles and garlic; razor clams with lemon; red mullet with black noodles; octopus risotto with Galician parmesan.

But who really knows? This being Spain we do know two things. You can never predict what the future of food will bring, but given the country, you know it will be good.

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