“A fun twist to eating out”
Is the slogan of BonAppetour – whom I was lucky enough to be a guest of, whilst staying in Barcelona – for a unique and wonderful culinary experience with Yves Nicolier Sandrock. Known locally as the Social Cooker!
With BonAppetour – you arrange through their site, to eat like a local with the BonAppetour host. The cost of the event is clearly displayed and booking on the site is very easy. Your eyes and tastebuds will be opened to an authentic food experience.
From the first moment I saw Yves, waving his hands above his head, as he searched the road where I’d been dropped off in Barcelona by my taxi, to meet me, for my gastronomical exploration into the world of Catalan cuisine for the evening. I knew we’d hit it off – so open, friendly and relaxed was his manner.
We drove up the hilly road to the tiny backstreet, where his house was situated. Entering the large wooden, double fronted gates – I found myself transported into a different world. With a divine menu to match but at the point me knowing none of the the dishes names.
Yves cracked open a bottle of spanish lager for me in his kitchen and I felt welcomed in a way, which brought tears to my eyes and a thumping in my chest. I was with family. That is exactly how his welcome made me feel.
I enjoyed the luxury of meeting Yves best friend since childhood Marco – who was to join us and his wife Eli for the evening. After their boys aged 2 and 4 had been put to bed. I was having a great time and had been so nervous and wondered if, I would even be hungry after my late lunch with Victoria Martinez from BarcelonaShoppingScouts.com but more of that experience in another post.
Pimientos del padrón
Truita de trompetas de la mort
Calamares rellenos mar y montaña
I felt excited at the thought of eating the appetizer as we cooked – having only recently enjoyed padron peppers at the opening of Bourgee restaurant in my little hometown. I couldn’t beat the authenticity of these green bitter fingers, as Marco – Yves best friend – explained to me how they used to be spicier due to pollination, but alas it is no longer the same!
The plate of squid was laid out in front of me and Yves ran through the process of gutting and preparing them to be cooked. Cutting their heads off with a pair of scissors felt a bit barbaric, removing the quill from inside the body (its shell) fascinating and popping out the beak for cooking, insightful. I had never done this before and it was turning into an enjoyable experience as Yves poured out a glass of white wine to drink alongside our preparation and he and Marco chatted away in spanish. I felt privileged to be with them. Stuffing the squid with cooked meat and sauce, the three of us chatted over the communal bowl, as we used toothpicks to secure each tiny stuffed squid before the dish was placed in the oven.
It was only a short while after that, Eli appeared downstairs and we were able to settle ourselves outside at the table and enjoy the fruits of our labour over good conversation and a little more wine.
I’ve only ever eaten squid once before and didn’t particularly enjoy it but stuffed with sauce – made using rockfish stock and the complimenting meat. Yves told me this was their spanish version of ‘surf & turf.’ I found it tasty!
I had arrived at 8 and after our meal was escorted up to the roof terrace where Yves showed me his Argentinian oven – the hammock beckoned me to lay down in it and the twinkling lights of Barcelona cast a warm glow beneath my gaze, as the three of us stood and stared out to where the sea was, as the lightening strikes hit the water. By this time it was coming up to 12 and I was tired – considering I had arisen at 4.45am to fly out from southend airport and had been on the go in Barcelona ever since. Yet a part of me didn’t want to leave. The fun I’d had in the evening – the good conversation, interest in our family’s home education, travels and life – brought alive this experience and left me with the sense that I had just made good friends, over great food and in a unique but traditional style!
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