By Margaux Cintrano
Spring is all about adventurous, astonishing fresh ingredients caught from our seas, and born from the land. Get your forks, spoons and knives ready because you are about to get the world on a platter in the Madrid capital and throughout the peninsula. Creative cookery by some of the world´s best chefs, chocolatiers, pastry chefs and bakers and the most incredible ingredients from the surf and the turf having produced a dining mecca like nowhere else on earth.
Metroline 10: Nuevos Ministerios or Santiago Bernabeu
Reservations: 91. 411. 2471 or email@example.com
Restaurant Joaquin Felipe, located above the Isabel Gourmet Market on the 2nd floor, is a new business venture for Joaquin and one of the most exceptional restaurants in Madrid. Prior to his opening in October 2012, award winning Chef Joaquin Felipe Peira (www.joaquinfelipe.info) was the executive chef of the now defunct Restaurant Europa Dëco at the Hotel Derby in the city´s centre. Joaquin has received the El Mundo Metropoli 2005 Award for the best chef, the AMER 2008 Award and the AURA 2006 Award.
Joaquin´s new restaurant is pulsing with all the excitement of the 21st century, a beautiful aquamarine turquoise, sand and white Mediterranean theme, and featuring three taster´s cartes at literally give away crisis prices: 20, 30 and 60 Euros.
INTERVIEW: EAR TO EAR WITH JOAQUIN
Margaux: What has been one of your greatest challenges since October?
Joaquin: The opening of a new venue, on a 2nd floor. It is not easy. After the closing of Europa Dëco, I had decided to open a place of my own, a new venue. It is a rental with a 12 year lease. My style: informal, reasonable cost, the Mediterranean colors turquoise blue, white and sand, with blonde woods. Simple, reasonable in cost and reproductions of Sorolla´s works.
Margaux: What are some of your objectives at the moment?
Joaquin: Since we opened in October 2012, my point of view is about doing and making. Developing and maintaining our clientele, and providing extra added value clientele services especially during such difficult economic times.
Margaux: How would you define your cuisine served here?
Joaquin: New tendency Urban, Spanish traditional spoon cuisine with evolutionary touches, Iberian and Mediterranean, a touch of Asia, and the finest the market has to offer. Shellfish and fish are predominately featured. The Logo depicts a tuna and an Iberian Hog. The spirit of the product, the Iberian seas and the Iberian lands. I offer my interpretation and adaptation of the traditional with the modernity and a touch of the fusion.
Margaux: I have read that when designing your plates you have been inspired by vanguard architecture . . .
Joaquin: Firstly, it is the organization of the ingredients, as they all have a function. Pyramids, squares, cubes, straight lines, geometrics, colors, textures, the visual and the physical balance.
Margaux: The timetable of the restaurant?
Joaquin: Daily Monday through Sunday: from 13.30 hours to 16.00 hours; and for dinner from
20.30 hours to 23.30 hours every day except Monday as we are closed Mondays.
To kick off the meal: Iberian acorn fed air dried ham wrapped around Grissini Breadsticks
The delightful Red Tuna Ensaladilla, salad prepared with, among others, warm diced potato, wakame algae, marine lettuce, ruby grapefruit, and lemon juices, fresh basil, hazelnuts and extra virgin olive oil, served with drizzle of homemade mayonnaise
The exquisite Greenland Butterfish Ceviche marinated in ruby grapefruit, lime and lemon
The Lamb Sweetbread Meatballs
The Piña Colada Cocktail layered in Depression glass jars, 1 layer of fresh pineapple, 1 layer of fresh cream, 1 layer of Cuban Rum …
www.stracto.com / www.cafento.com
Stracto Café Coffee Bar & Retail Shop • Wholesale Showroom & Catering
65 José Ortega y Gasset
Metroline 4: Lista
Reservations: 91. 402. 0599
Cafento E-Store Online & Customer Service: 902 117 230
Firstly, Stracto, the brand, and Cafento, the Asturian corporation, draw on the bounty of the world´s best coffees, teas, herbal infusions and international chocolates, which are turned into various tasting cartes and festive celebration treats, with upscale sensational taste explosions, however, profoundly steeped in tradition with evolutionary twists and with mysterious and exotic fragrances of global coffees, chocolate and herbal infusions.
This exquisite multi-space venue features a retail boutique and showroom on the ground floor, a photographic gallery, and a delightful enclosed chill out and relax terrace. Additionally, the beautiful duplex houses a contemporary coffee bar and lounge café on the second floor.
The exquisite seasonally changing showcase consists of approximately 25 different sweet tooth pleasures served from 10 am and of course 17.00 hours coffee break delicacies to fill all of one’s desires.
Star chocolatier and pastry expert, executive baker Tino Faustino Helguera and his son Sergio Helguera, a disciple of Ferràn Adrià, and Alicante native Paco Torreblanca, have been designing chocolate truffle sensational confections like milk chocolate praline crunch, red berry gânachè, orange and black chocolate and that is only the tip of the iceberg as we say.
Tino and his team have been renovating and evolutionizing traditional Iberian pastries profoundly steeped in historical convents and monasteries. For example, Tozino de Cielo, an egg yolk, sugar cane Castillan León convent dessert which dates back to the Medieval times.
Some of the exquisite dessert pastries and sweet tooth pleasures that Eva, Pilar and I taste tested:
La Ópera Tarta de Mousse. Simply paradise for your palate, this cinematic Cuban black chocolate Mousse Tart, is heaven on earth exquisite.
The Chocolate Burger. These whimsical French sandwich cookies, called Macarons, with their look alike bun appearance, possess layered semi sweet fillings, visually resembling a Burger with layers of semi sweet chocolate, green apple gel, toffee, banana gel and Ketchup syrup.
Chocolate Mocha Sachet. This sensationally sinful Milk Chocolate Sachet of hollow milk chocolate is loaded with a stunning crunch as one takes more and more fork bites. The Mocha Sachet resembles the Respigo. However, the ingredients and the chocolate employed are quite different.
The Polca. This unusual confection begins with a pastry shell similar to a French Quiche Lorraine, and is then filled with white fresh cream with a dark chocolate interior centre and caramelized sugar.
The Oval Sandwich. This splendid sweet tooth pleasure is filled with fresh butter cream and sugar cane icing.
The Stracto and Cafento bilingual team has been creating a shrine dedicated to the best of the world´s coffees from Brazil, Columbia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania to name a few; teas, herbal teas including passion fruit, cinnamon, lemon, herbal relax and in total 35. The indigenous chocolates hailing from Perú, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Tanzania and Mexico are prepared into exquisite concoctions, and seasonal holiday treats.
The Stracto coffees we sampled
Upon entering Stracto, one encounters an array of intricately, succulent complex fragrances of the world of coffee, tea and chocolate. Delicate, yet with crisp, exhilarating aromatics, roasted coffee beans, and hints of cedar, savoury yet gentle cocoa, and roasted malt notes. Here are some of the uncountable coffees we had taste tested in freshly ground bean form and in capsule style:
Caffitaly – Corpasso: This finely balanced, profound Espresso is one of the very best I have had, outside of Italy. The flavor notes at the post gusto level were non-acidic, creating a lovely mouth feel and most pleasant Espresso. It is an Arabica blend of Brazilian, Columbian and African beans which has given the extraordinary texture, aromas, taste and after taste.
The Delicate Pure Columbian: Prepared with the most delightful fresh cream, this coffee type is remarkably delicate, and has a long complex developing conclusion. It is prepared from 100% Columbian coffee beans.
The Intense Arabica: This complex character with an ancient history dating back to over 1,ooo years ago in Ethiopia, Egypt and Turkey possesses a dried fruit aromatic profile, which lyrically hints of walnut and fresh fruits, with a lovely silkiness after – taste. This personality plus coffee is a fine blend of Brazilian, Columbian and Nicaragua beans.
The De Caffe: Surprisingly, being an avid Espresso drinker, this Mexican and Brazilian De-caff is the loveliest I have ever had. It is quietly complex yet with a silky mouthfeel and a long deeply flavored saturated finish.
The Retail Manager, our expert guide and host with the most, native Vizcayan, English speaking Juan Romero Ortega; the knowledgeable Coffee Sommelier and Specialist Miami, Florida native, Gary Len Enriquez; and the Galician bilingual Media Relations Director, Anxelo, are three of the most lovely people we have met to date. Their expertise in protocol and clientele service philosophy and the product are their constitution and mission. This has become our Saturday 11.30am coffee venue of choice.
Futhermore, there are the following services: Retail, Wholesale, the latest in Stracto Coffee Makers at excellent prices, for one´s ease, and corporate and private event planning services to suit all your coffee cravings, seasonal festive gift needs, 35 splendid teas and herbal infusions, international chocolates and cake whims …
CAFENTO´s ONLINE SERVICES
Cafento Shop Online: coffees, coffee beans, capsules, chocolates, coffee and tea accessories, teas, herbal infusions, sugars A to Z, and assorted related gourmet products for example, Asturian French style butters
Professional business and home coffee makers
Where to Purchase Guide and Retail Guide
Cafento and Stracto and I met at Madrid Fusion XI in January and at Salones Gourmets XXVII, once again …
SALONES GOURMETS XXVII – LIVE REPORT TO FOLLOW …
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