After visiting the wonderful and unique vineyard Els Jelipins, our eyes and palates are set on tasting some Cava. We visit a biodynamic producer Suriol; one of the first things that really stand out from the other vineyards nearby is that Suriol is cover cropped, whilst its neighbours have been ploughed and sprayed into submission. Sadly this comes down to a lot of the grape growers who simply just don’t have the resources to produce their own wines.
Their crops mostly all get sold off to the large Cava giants and without the financial backing it’s harder for the farmers to focus on quality by reducing quantity. With the current financial climate it makes no sense to take such risks and not be able to provide for their families when their grapes already get bought at such a low cost.
We are welcomed with a beautiful and casual lunch, with the Cava flowing from various vintages and some simple grilled meat, tapas and of course more wine. After a quick rest it is time for dinner. Jesse plans to cook alongside a culinary legend Oriol Llavina who was named best chef in Catalonia in 2009 and worked at Drolma which held a Michelin star.
After his previous venture was forced to shut down, he has taken on a venue above the meat market called El Cigro d’Or aka “The Golden Chick Pea”, an ingredient embraced throughout the evening, cooked in multiple ways. They cook up chic peas with baby squid, chic peas and tripe, some artichokes, hay smoked some octopus and finish with some grilled lettuce.
Although what really blows us all away is the simple dish of olive oil and rice; the oil is really green with a fresh vibrancy; then emulsified with the rice to create a beautiful texture like nothing we have seen before.