Barcelona Gastronomic Forum 2016 Review

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Barcelona Gastronomic Forum 2016 Review

Barcelona Gastronomic Forum 2016

October 23rd til the 26th was the Barcelona Fòrum Gastronòmic and HostelCo trade fair at the Barcelona Fira. It was four days of live cooking workshops by experts in their fields, food tastings, Spanish barrister championship, product presentations, networking events, machine equipment and product exhibitors; all on display for a public of industry colleagues, chefs, restaurateurs, journalists, food and wine distributors, critics and gastronomic lovers. Over two halls of innovation and examples of the flourishing local gastronomic culture.


Barcelona Charcoal Ovens Dominate the Event and el Fuego

Josper Charcoal Grills

Barcelona BBQ were invited guests of the Forum Gastronomic , and we went to see how the local barbecue culture was infiltrating and influencing the restaurant and hospitality scene. We were pleasantly surprised to see the growth of this culture on the large restaurant and hotel sectors.

We looked forward to catching up with our old friends and the long time barbecue oven kings at Josper Charcoal Ovens. They had, by far, the most popular stand of the entire event. Even with their restricted entrance, the stand and barbecue area was flowing with the top local chefs, culinary personalities and VIPs. But really, who could resist the Waygu short ribs from Beef on Food and the smoked flavour plates coming out of the Josper grills.

Josper continued to represent the gold standard of the local barbecue community, and exemplified why Barcelona is the Barbecue Capital of Europe.

Chilean Wagyu Beef Short Ribs from Beef on Food

We spoke with Darío Mulet, the general sales manager, about the future of Josper Ovens, and the exciting era of the Barcelona barbecue movement.  Darío told us how he had just returned from 6 weeks of events in Australia, Mexico, Brasil, the US and Moscow, and that the Barcelona brand was growing exponentially in restaurants there.  The world has taken notice that the best charcoal grilled products come from restaurants with Barcelona´s own, Josper Charcoal Ovens.  For our prospective, it was hard to argue.


A New Barbecue Oven Experience

At the Mibrasa Charcoal Oven Chef´s Table with Paco Pérez, we sampled cocochas a la brasa (barbecued hake fish) and talked briefly with co-owner and sales manager, Pere Hernández.

Mibrasa Charcoal Ovens with Chef Paco Pérez from Miramar de Llançà

Mibrasa was a new barbecue oven for us to experience, so we were interested to know more about their history.  A relatively new brand on the international charcoal oven scene, they have have worked hard to establish themselves around the world for quality barbecue ovens. We learned they are from Palomós, home of one of our favorite barbecued items: Gambas de Palomós a la brasa (charbroiled shrimps from Palomós) and can be found in Michelin starred restaurants around Europe.

Paco Pérez is a 2 Michelin-star chef, who is described on his Miramar Restaurant website as one of the leading practitioners of state-of- the-art 21st century cuisine.  He studied under Ferran Adrià of el Bulli previously.

We are definitely excited to learn more about them in the future.


Innovation and Inspiration

Forum Gastronomic Class on SaltWe started the day with a classroom seminar discussing the use of salt on meats and seafood with Chef Victor Quintillà of Restaurant Lluerna and Pere Castlells of the University of Barcelona and Gastro Cultura Mediterránea.

They discussed a process of creating a saline solution bath to flavour products before putting them on the barbecue, instead of the traditional dry rock salt application.

We will have a more in-dept post regarding this subject next week, but basically, they add 80mg of salt to one liter of water to create a saline bath for meat and seafood.  They argue that by soaking the items in these saline baths, the meat products absorb a significant amount of quality salt flavor, without over salting it.  They also demonstrated with a live tasting the difference between the texture of the products using dry salt versus the saline bath prepared products, which they argued were the same, if not better.

The most valuable benefit, from our perspective, was for large catering or restaurant uses, because this process can be done 2-3 days before your event.  Which allows you to pre-salt your items and then leave them in storage for when you are ready to cook.  It was very interesting, and a subject that we hope to test ourselves over the coming weeks.

Calui Designer Barbecues by Bahí and Güell

Jordi of Caliu Barbecues by Bahí & Güell, describing their products to Fernanda.

BUT, the conversation at the end of the day with Jordi Güell (cannot get a more Barcelonan name than that) of Caliu Designer Barbecues by Bahí & Güell got us the most excited.

Jordi and his partner, Jordi (Bahí) started to design their barbecues four years ago using quality, durable and local materials to transform barbecue cooking into a more sophisticated experience. The modern and sleek lined, stainless steel and ceramic machines were definitely beautiful to view in their cedar wood event stand.

As Jordi (Güell) described to us, “the idea of someone sitting at the smoke-filled barbecue, working all-day to prepare food for their guest is what Catalans mistake a barbecue as being.  We felt if we designed a more ecstatically pleasing machine, it would draw people to gather instead around the barbecue or make it the focus on the dinner table.”

They design both a large ceramic charcoal oven, and their tabletop hibachi grills, for which the Forum Gastronomic recognized with the 2016 prize of “Innovation in Design”.

Ceramic charcoal barbecue ovens from Bahí & Güell

As well, they have created designer accessories for their barbecues. Jordi admitted that they have made the furthest  inroads, at the moment, into the Nordic market. But he hopes with the maturation of the growing Barcelona in-home barbecue scene, that their growth will continue in Barcelona.

These young designers reminded us that the Barcelona barbecue market has much room to expand and innovate.

They had already branched into designing flavored charcoals, and Nitro-cooking cold food displays with locally grown cork.  We hope that the flavour and function of their barbecues are as well-developed and efficient as their designs.  And we hope to get a test run on these grills soon, Jordi?

Overall, it was another fascinating gastronomic event in Barcelona that showcased the local barbecue culture and reach of this community to the world.   Do not forget to check out more information regarding the the listed products at their links.

If you have any questions about these or other products, please add them to the message below, or contact us directly and we will make sure to get the answered.