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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dispatch from Barcelona

My husband Wes is the executive editor of AutoWeek magazine, and his work takes him across the globe. He's had the good fortune to eat in hundreds of fine restaurants, and today he contributes this guest post to Fresh Eats. Watch for his guest post from Scotland.

At ABaC, Barcelona's only two-star Michelin restaurant, I had the chance to enjoy the work of chef and molecular gastronomer Xavier Pellicer. Pellicer chose cooking as his trade when he was just 13, having grown up around fine food and wine -- how could he not with a Catalan father and French mother?

Pellicer moved among Europe's Michelin-starred restaurants, arriving at ABaC in 1999.

ABaC is located in a refurbished mansion that had been privately owned and also was once the U.S. consulate. There are two dining rooms, one large and one small, both decorated in what I'll call modern Spanish: Creams and whites and indirect lighting and elegant, neutral shades. 

The kitchen wherein Pellicer works his magic is actually an ancient theater where the original families who owned the mansion staged plays.

Our meal was simple, elegant and delicious. Pellicer started us with a beautifully plated dish of prawns, watercress and artichoke. Next we moved on to grouper in a warm, nutty, almond emulsion. As a seafood lover I was in heaven: The prawns and grouper struck the perfect balance between clean fish flavor without being too fishy, one of my seafood pet peeves.

Next, the main dish, a Barcelona specialty, Iberian suckling pig. It was sublime, with a crispy skin and, once we cut into it, succulent juicy meat, flavored to perfection.   

The entire meal was served on gorgeous Versace china, of course. It was an experience I won't soon forget.


  1. Maria,

    Congrats! You won my Julie & Julia giveaway! I posted the announcement last week, but haven't heard from you yet.

    Please email your address to me at kelly [at] barbaricgulp [dot] com so that I can send the books to you!

    Sounding My Barbaric Gulp!

  2. Wes - sounds like an excellent evening!