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  • About Me

    I've always thought that the best way to really get to know any culture is through its palate. A steaming spoonful of grandma-style stew or a single chunk of meat prepared in a familiar way have the potential to elicit an onrush of memories and stories from the past, heated discussions about preference and preparation across the dining room table, smiles and winks of mutual satisfaction, a general breakdown of every type of barrier imaginable. It is the emotion behind food that draws me to it, the reactions it brings out in people.

    Feeling hungry? Why not take a moment and flip through my life's pages! Take a journey with me to the wet markets of Hong Kong or perhaps meet me for a nice asado in a parilla in San Telmo. Wondering what bird's nest tastes like or looking for the best Bloody Mary bar in Boston? Stick with me and I will take you to some of my favorite spots in town, some of my favorite places in the world.

    For my full bio, check out my ME page.

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Llesqueria La Plaça in Escaladei

Here in the Priorat, the answer to the question “Where do you want to go for dinner?” is often the name of a town instead of a restaurant. Each town has a handful of restaurants that serve almost exclusively Catalan food. Some specialize in certain stuff, depending on the suppliers they work with. The small town of Escaladei, … Continue reading

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Tasting Terroir at Celler de l’Àspic in Falset

One of the most dearly beloved restaurants around these parts is Chef Toni Bru’s Celler de l’Àspic in Falset, the principle village of the Priorat. Born into a family of bakers in the town of Cabacés, Chef Bru dedicated himself to cooking at an early age. The resurgence of the region’s wine production in the ’90s also allowed Bru to enhance … Continue reading

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The Pataco of Alforja and What It Represents

“With Catalan food, the future doesn’t worry me,” says Carles from Garcia in nearby Ribera d’Ebre. “It won’t disappear. I’m 32 and I cook at home. I’ve been doing it for years.” “He gets pissed off when I cut the potatoes wrong,” his girlfriend chimes in. “Slice in a curve and break off, always.” We’re talking about … Continue reading

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Trapped and Happy in San Sebastián: Dinner at Gandarias

“Friday at 00:15″ means Thursday night, not Friday night. This most rookiest of mistakes cost me two hours of despair and a two hundred dollar flight the following morning. As the loss of my night bus from San Sebastián to Barcelona began to sink in, I found myself focusing solely on the negatives: money lost, time in … Continue reading

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Some Bites at Bar Alcanadre in Hondarribia

Directly across the street from Bar Gran Sol in Hondarribia is Bar Alcanadre, a much more laid back and traditional spot where a pintxo is a pinxto and not so much an abstract work of art. The food here doesn’t take itself so seriously and neither does the service. The guy behind the bar was incredibly … Continue reading

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Artsy Pintxos at Bar Gran Sol in Hondarribia

A short bus ride away from Donostia is the charming Basque fishing village of Hondarribia best known for its spacious beaches and its fusion of Spanish and French architecture. A 10-minute boat ride and you’re in France, in the town of Hendaye across the bay. As is generally true of places within Euskadi, the village of Hondarribia is packed … Continue reading

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Tuna and Pickles at Casa Bartolo

And then there was Casa Bartolo, a slightly more legitimate and local looking spot where the bar is lined with plates and the floor below is covered in used napkins. They come around every 10 minutes to sweep it up. It is said by locals that the more napkins there are the better the place … Continue reading

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First of Many Basque Pintxos at Casa Alcalde

It’s a Wednesday afternoon and early, yet already the streets of San Sebastián are teaming with hungry bar-hoppers, avid pintxo-poppers looking to wash down two-bite snacks with a beer or frosty cool caña of clara. Locals and tourists and local tourists alike frequent the “pintxerias” that line the streets of Parte Vieja. At first glance these spots all look kind of similar. But they’re not. Hams … Continue reading

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Rossejat at El Far on the Costa Brava

The first time I had rossejat was at the restaurant of the El Far hotel, high atop a cliff in Llafranc, Girona on the Costa Brava of Catalunya. The hotel is so named for the Sant Sebastian lighthouse nearby which rises bright and high into the night sky, towering over the jet black sea that … Continue reading

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Basque Fusion at Erroak

As I start this article I’m on a RENFE train, Basque Country bound. My expectations are high. Pretty much every chef I’ve ever met has either wanted to go to San Sebastian or waxed poetic about the city, having visited often for inspiration. I know already that there are more Michelin stars per square foot … Continue reading

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