Christian Escribà - Modern Willy Wonka

Day 4 – Big Day for Barcelona – Pinoxto – Escribà – Tuset


This would prove to be an exhausting day for our Barcelona Portland Food Adventures group, starting with breakfast at 7 am at famed Pinoxto in La Boqueria. You may have seen this guy, Juan, featured in Rick Steves’ visit. He’s a classic.

Juan at Pinoxto in La Boqueria
Juan at Pinoxto in La Boqueria

Chef Jose Chesa, our food guide from Portland’s Ataula restaurant, ensured we enjoyed samples of their best seafood and tortillas. We ate in two shifts.

Chef Jose orders for us at Pinoxto in La Boqueria
Chef Jose orders for us at Pinoxto in La Boqueria

After breakfast and wandering the Boqueria, I followed Rick Steves’ walking guide and toured the Cathedral of Barcelona in more detail. I think this was also the day I visited the Picasso Museum (no photos allowed inside) and the El Born district, which has wonderful shops.

I had plenty of time to reach Xiringuito Escribà for our paella lunch on the beach, although once I was in the vicinity it wasn’t that easy to find the exact spot. This is the problem when you don’t have a data plan for your smartphone in Europe. Chris had provided a good map with our destinations circled, but I still logged some extra steps.

It was great to see the beach and a relief to find the restaurant right on time.

Barcelona Beach
Barcelona Beach
Xiringuito Escribà
Xiringuito Escribà

We were seated with open air access to the beach views and enjoyed a traditional paella lunch that was quite satisfying.

Xiringuito Escribà Lunch
Xiringuito Escribà Lunch
Xiringuito Escribà Lunch
Xiringuito Escribà Lunch
Xiringuito Escribà Calamari
Xiringuito Escribà Calamari
Xiringuito Escribà Mussels
Xiringuito Escribà Mussels
Xiringuito Escribà Fideo
Xiringuito Escribà Fideo
Xiringuito Escribà Black Paella
Xiringuito Escribà Black Paella
Xiringuito Escribà Seafood Paella
Xiringuito Escribà Seafood Paella
A little beach music
A little beach music

At this point of the day, a wise person would have taken a cab to our next destination, a demonstration/lecture by famed Chef Christian Escribà. But some of us weren’t that smart. We had a lot of calories to burn off, anyway. But the walk there gave some folks more blisters.

We didn’t really know what to expect of the “pastry workshop” listed for 4 pm. It turned out to be a tour of this modern-day Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and a slideshow by the man himself, Christian Escribà. This was definitely the sort of access to culinary superstars that made this trip a true food adventure.

Escribà Ceiling of Sugar Glass Flowers
Escribà Ceiling of Sugar Glass Flowers
Escribà
Escribà
Christian Escribà - Modern Willy Wonka
Christian Escribà – Modern Willy Wonka

We learned about his innovations, including cake walls. I want a cake wall.

Christian Escribà - Modern Willy Wonka
Christian Escribà – Modern Willy Wonka

Escribà - in the chocolate factory
Escribà – in the chocolate factory
Escribà - in the chocolate factory
Escribà – in the chocolate factory

Can I have this cake wall for my next birthday?

Escribà - in the Willy Wonka zone
Escribà – Wendy in the Willy Wonka zone

We had a bonus dinner scheduled for 10:30 pm. Some of our group opted out, as it had already been a massive day. But I was happy that I went (which contributed to the 31,300 steps for the day).  On the way I saw a couple of the famed Gaudi-designed buildings.

Gaudi's Casa Batillo
Gaudi’s Casa Batillo
Gaudi's Casa Mila
Gaudi’s Casa Mila

The Tuset Restaurant‘s chef trained with Jose Chesa. I enjoyed the food very much, especially the peppery beef croquettes.

Tuset Chef and Jose Chesa
Tuset Chef and Jose Chesa
Tuset appetizer
Tuset appetizer
Tuset - tortilla de espana
Tuset – tortilla de espana
Tuset - tartar
Tuset – tartar
Tuset
Tuset
Tuset - peppery beef
Tuset – peppery beef
Tuset desserts
Tuset desserts

Next: Day 5 – Degusta Show – Spain has Microbrews and IPA!

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