JUAN ALTAMIRAS FOOD FESTIVAL II
In March 2019 La Almunia held a second edition of its Certamen Gastronómico. For this I was asked to design a menu of escudillas – friary bowl food – to be served at a press lunch in Zaragoza. Working from Madrid by phone with Carlos Martínez of El Patio, who cooked the lunch, I suggested a free flow of tasting dishes evoking friary simplicity. Carlos picked half a dozen ideas from my candidate recipes, opening his menu with Altamiras’s fish soup aromatised with candied fruit. The lunch also reflected this year’s festival actitivities chosen by consultant Arturo Gastón: fine wine pairings with local Garnachas from Cariñena’s bodegas, and cooking in earthenware cazuelas, highlighted by Eduardo Comín in a showcooking session in San Lorenzo convent. I was given one of the festival’s first Premios Juan Altamiras, presented by mayoress Marta Gracía. The award, a suitably humble, handpainted escudilla made in Valdejalón, now sits on my bookshelves. Thankyou, La Almunia!