Europe

ranierkelly.jpg I have been a news junkie since I was a child, probably because we only had one TV with rabbit ears. Every night after supper, I sat with my dad and watched the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.

The earliest memories I have of news stories are about Watergate, Patty Hearst and Princess Grace. I remember the debates and controversy about the first two, but the stories about Princess Grace were  just enchanting. She gave hope to little girls and women of all ages that you could grow up as a normal girl in Pennsylvania, move to Hollywood, become a movie star and marry a Prince.

Read more ...

papituWe took a break from olive picking to hop across the pond to Barcelona to attend the Catalan International Environmental Film Festival. We were invited through our friend, Will Parinnello, who was being honored for his films about this year’s Goldman Environmental Prize honorees.

All of which means that we spent three days — and nights — with some of the greenest people on the planet. It was nice to learn that environmental heroes can eat and drink with the best of them. When you think about it, munching on tapas and slugging down innumerable glasses of Cava is really just another form of re-cycling.

On an earlier trip to Barcelona, Jill and I had lunched at a counter in the Boqueria, the extraordinary market in the center of town. When we mentioned to some locals that we wanted to repeat this experience, they pointed us instead to a little piazza just outside the entrance to the market. There, they told us, is a tapas restaurant that the Barcelonians prefer. It’s called Papitu and it was wonderful, indeed. 

Read more ...

mugaritz.jpgThe 3-star Michelin restaurant Mugaritz (rated 3rd in the Top Fifty Restaurants of the World) is high up in hills of Errenteria, Spain twenty minutes outside of San Sebastian. It is surprisingly easy to get to if you are an expert in Himalayan climbs, hairpin turns, and fluent in the basque language called Euskara. After you arrive at this culinary mecca, you remove your crampons, ice axe, and Formula One racing helmet, and are ushered into their gorgeous kitchen sanctum. A sparkling cava (Copa Cava Opus Evolutium Ad Private) is given to you to sip. A discussion is then held between you and the various friendly alchemists who will be cooking your meal regarding the philosophical underpinnings of that evening's dishes.

You are taken to your table. A glass of Ossian 2008 white wine is poured. A single small potato (called "Edible Stones" on the menu) that has been cooked in an edible clay shell sits on top of heated gravel. You bite into it hoping your dental insurance has been squared away and realize that it is soft and what you always hoped a potato could be, what any food could be. You dip it into an aiolli sauce and realize that if you only went to Spain for this one potato it would have been enough, more than enough, maybe even too much.

Read more ...
Page 2 of 2