Spain On the Road Again, Part 10 – Gawking at Gaudí and Asturian Adventures 1

On Road AgainClaudia arranges a one-of-a-kind tour of architect Antoni Gaudí’s most famous architectural oeuvres, including the fantasy filled Casa Batlló (fantastic on the outside, according to Gaudí expert Daniel Giralt Miracle, but nicely utilitarian on the inside), La Pedrera and the Parc Güell, which was actually designed as a residencial “garden city,” not a park. The lunch of baby squid in hot pepper sauce, tripe and langostines is at Can Pineda, unassuming on the outside, “smokin’ hot inside,” according to Mario. More…

Spain… On the Road Again–Part 6 Reply

On Road AgainA Michael Stipe Surprise in Catalunya

Claudia takes Gwyneth for a nighttime drive through her hometown of Barcelona. Gwyneth does a celebrity appearance and then the two ladies sneak off to the gourmet department of a Barcelona department store to stock up on snacks for the next leg of their journey.

The next morning, Mario and Gwyneth dive into Spanish bubbly in the cellars at the Segura Viudas winery. Meanwhile, Mark and Claudia take to the seas to enjoy some of the most sought-after shellfish in the Mediterranean and later to a fish auction that has all the excitement of a Major League game.

Back in wine country, Mario and Gwyneth grill a vegetarian Catalan feast. Later, Mario shocks Gwyneth when they pick up an unlikely hitchhiker, Michael Stipe, the REM lead singer. More…

Spain… On the Road Again–Part 3 Reply

Coasting Along in Galicia

On Road AgainGwyneth, Mario, Claudia and Mark (“¡Tengo muchísima hambre!”) Bittman muck in with Galician mariscadoras, digging for some of the world’s best shellfish. Later Mario grills up an impromptu feast of lobsters and razor clams paired with the acclaimed Galician Albariño white wine. (Gwyneth calls these impromptu meals in the field “cook n’ eats.”) Next the road trippers head inland for meat and vegetable empanadas (think giant pasties) cooked in a wood-fired oven. After a morning cruising down the Río Miño, Mario and Claudia learn to prepare octopus, Galician style (“pulpo a la gallega”), and wash it down with a potent queimada made of the local 100-proof firewater, sugar, lemon and coffee beans heated slowly till the sugar dissolves. It’s a real witches’ brew, as Claudia discovers when she takes her first sip. More…

Spain… On the Road Again — Part 1 Reply

On Road Again Let’s jump into “Spain… On the Road Again.” This 2008 gastro-cultural series on Spain features chef Mario Batali, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols. Both Gwyneth and Mario spent time in Spain as adolescents and speak excellent Spanish, especially Gwyneth, who sounds like a native. Claudia is from Barcelona so her Spanish is flawless (along with five other languages!). Among the three of them they interpret for Mark. He seems to enjoy his Spanish lessons with Claudia immensely. More…

Spain… On the Road Again Reply

Spanish gastrotourSpain… on the road Again is a madcap American food and travel series produced by PBS in 2008. The show features Iron Chef Mario Batali, American actress Gwyneth Paltrow, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols. Each episode covers a different region of Spain as the foursome explore the country’s culinary traditions and history. This is the introductory chapter, which sets the tone for the series. A lot of silliness laced with a lot of interesting information. The fact that all of the participants have extensive previous experience of Spain is a plus. It also helps that the girls are easy to look at. More…