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bourdain in spain

obsequious to the fames.

sorry, i was hoping for a better show. i suspect there is much more to spanish cooking.

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  1. I actually enjoyed it very much and it was one of my favorites so far. I was really hoping he would go to Mugaritz.

    Mugaritz, Adria, Arzak, and the Grill guy...not to mention some of that great seafood, basque pinxos and onion grill? Jam packed. I love it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mexigaf

      didn't see it because of the olympics but i just couldn't read the title of this post and not think...
      "falls mainly in the plains".
      that makes me a giant loser and i'm ok with that. :)

        1. re: newfie29

          aw shucks. blush blush...

          1. re: AMFM

            that was the intent ;-)
            but hey, you knew that.

    2. The food in that part of Spain is truly out of this world stupendous. He conveyed that tonight, I just wish he had spent some more time on the traditional Basque food & culture, and maybe give us a glimpse into of one of those 'secret' gastronomic clubs. I could think of at least another dozen things he could have showcased but thems the limitations of a tv show.

      1. For more on Spanish cooking check out the recent thread on Jose Andres 'Made in Spain' show.

        For reading, I'd suggest the New Spanish Table, which does a nice task of presenting both the new and traditional.

        Bizzare Foods also has a good Spanish episode.

        While I have a number of books like this on Spanish cooking, and seen other shows, i still learned things from Tony's new show. No take-home recipes, except maybe the idea of grilling and steaming spring onions.

        3 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          Jose is my hero..... what a wonderful journey he takes us on during each of his episodes.

          1. re: smtucker

            I accidently saw one episode of his a while back. He was visiting a cheese market and making some rice pudding in a restaurant. It was so wonderful! He's such a complete Asturian goofball and really seems to know and love his local food. As I watched I kept saying "yes! it's exactly like that! yes!" because he was managing to capture the spirit and taste of a (maybe not so much anymore) terribly overlooked and delicious area so well. Who the heck is he and where did he come from?

        2. I really liked this show. The segments on Mugaritz and the grill guy was awesome. It had me scrambling through the fridge and pantry for something to eat. The grill was fascinating. I really was entranced by what that guy is doing. The grilled onions was also very very interesting, being an onion guy of longstanding.

          One thing that would be of great interest to me was when Tony made the point that Adria and the molecular gastronomy guys would not exist without the food traditions of the old ways. I would think doing a show on the linkage and lineage pertaining to that statement would eb fascinating. having the chefs themselves talk about how their cultural and culinary heritage drove them to do what they do.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Phaedrus

            Same here re. the onions.

            I usually buy too many and toss a few. Now I know to cut the tops off and plant them in the yard Who knew they'd grow into something new!

            From that alone I thank this episode!

          2. I'll watch anything to do with Spain (its my favorite European vacation destination) and I was happy to see some things that were new to me. I was especially happy how he noted that some of the best food can be found in "old men bars". I think this week-end I'll have to break out my perron, grill up some heads-on shrimp (if I can find any) and kick back with the memories he stirred up on this show. That said, I would have been happier with less time spent on the chocolate eggs and more time spent on his final meal.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Sloth

              I really was looking forward to this episode but was dissappointed. Chocolate sculptues and molecular gastronomy are two things I couldn't care less about. The small local tapas bars and seafood places were much more interesting. Mr. Bourdain still makes very good television.

              1. re: chazmo

                I thought the egg part was interesting in that it showed a true craftsman elevating his art. One might not like that medium, but it's part of the show's bigger picture of showcasing people who are absolutely passionate about a singular skill. His was chocolate, another was canned seafood, another was grilling, etc. In a world where the safe profit is doing whatever appeals to the masses, it's great to be reminded that mastering a single passion is still very special.

                And sitting in a Spanish country estate's courtyard with freinds, drinking wine and waiting for chocolate to melt a certain way is not a bad way to spend an afternoon!

                1. re: tastyjon

                  I'm a huge chocolate lover and was imagining the smell of the chocolate factory. That said, I thought he spent a little too much time on it. He could've encapsulated it in 2/3 the time I think.

                  Good episode. Made me want to grill caviar.

                  BTW, is there any reason why a mesh strainer wouldn't work as a saute "Pan" as he used it??


                  1. re: tastyjon

                    FWIW, the scraper he used to mix the chocolate around on the table was, I'm almost certain, a Stanley brand drywall tape knife. Interesting example of cross-over tool use.

                  2. re: chazmo

                    The sculptures and molecular gastronomy were added at show that Spain is now currently the culinary epicenter. While I found the molecular gastro interesting I certainly lean more toward traditional cooking. Spain has it all.

                    I thought this was a fantastic episode.

                2. Thought this was a truly special show. Bourdain's love of food and ingredients was evident. Effort was taken to show that molecular gastronomy and innovation in order to be successful are built on a foundation of classic techniques and the most magnificent of ingredients. Anthony was almost moved to tears several times and so was I. The wonder, excitement and sheer joy that food can bring is amazing and it so sad many have no clue what I am talking about.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                    I don't think Bourdain loves anything more than hearing himself talk. I wish he would focus more on food.

                    1. re: Ericandblueboy

                      Did you see the Spain episode? Do you think it didn't focus on food?

                      1. re: Jocelyn P

                        You are right on! Sure Bourdain has an ego, so what its part of his persona. His focus on the food,culture and traditions were quite reverential.

                        1. re: Jocelyn P

                          I just did see it and it does focus very much on food, and for that I'm very appreciative. Question: what's with the expensive canned seafood? The urchin and foie gras combo looks way too decadent. Finally, I want to try baby eels again. I've only had it once at a restaurant in NYC called Barcelona in the mid 90s. Don't think it's still there anymore.

                    2. It was one of my favorite all time Bourdain shows. I especially love it when he is in awe of the food..humbled by the experience. I thought it was informative and I spent 2 hours online researching places to stay in San Sebastian and Barcelona.

                      1. It was OK, certainly better than some of the stinkers we've had this season (Southwest). Tony has said 'this is one of the best things/meals I've ever had' so many times that it's kind of lost all meaning. I'd love to try the grill guy's place and the pintxos bar. On the other hand, I've got no use for a chef who serves ACTUAL ROCKS in the same bowl as potatoes made to LOOK LIKE ROCKS. Give me a break. Ditto the chocolate egg guy. Tony's comparison of leaving chocolate eggs out in the sun to the works of Dali, etc. was laughable. It was interesting to see the origins (if that was the origin) of the green onion-romesco pairing.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Buckethead

                          'Culinaria Spain', one of those European/Chinese food picture books that I find in discount book stores, has an entry on these onions, calcotada. The word comes from a Catalan word for 'to support', in reference to piling earth around the onions as one would asparagus. It says it takes a year from planting to harvest.

                          The way it puts it, growing and feasting on these onions is quite old, but grilling them over a flaming fire, as opposed to a slow roast over coals, is about a hundred years old. It is attributed to Xat de Benaiges, from Valls in Tarragona.

                          The Cantabria chapter has a couple of pages on canned seafood, 'many producers are now increasingly offering at inflated prices unusual delicacies'.

                          1. re: paulj

                            A hundred years ago, what did they use instead of styrofoam coolers?

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              The book mentions serving them on a 'baked terracotta roof tile' (half cylinder type), which helps keep them hot. No details of whether the tiles were preheated, or whether the onions were packed with them after roasting.

                              1. re: paulj

                                In the show, after grilling they steam for 45 minutes. You couldn't get similar results from just grilling.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  I was a little disappointed but that may have been because of the huge build up. Some shows I come away thinking "I would love to eat that food." I didn't really feel that way with this one and I was expecting to.

                        2. Overall I liked this ep much better than some of the recent ones (SW as previously mentioned). I know it sounds shallow but I am not a big seafood eater and I really wish they had gotten into some of the other cuisine of Spain. I picture amazing sausages and wonderfully rich and complex dishes with all kinds of protein and basically there was nothing except seafood/shellfish of various varieties.

                          I too thought he spent too much time on the chocolate egg guy. But I did like his small treatise about how the MG guys wouldn't be there if they didn't have a deep-seated love for the basics, but it still didn't make me want to eat a bowl of rock potatoes or a gelee strawberry. I just don't get it. Why not just eat a strawberry or a potato?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rockandroller1

                            The Bizzare Foods Spain episode, repeated on the same channel, shows more animal products (roast suckling pigs,all parts of the cow, etc). As does Made in Spain, which in my area is played on the 'Create' channel of my local PBS station.