my favourite things weblog


Angel, cooking from the heart
November 5, 2012, 12:12 pm
Filed under: places we visit

Entering Angel’s for the first time takes a little courage: you peer through darkened glass into premises (with no sign) you are unsure house a junkshop, a restaurant or some bizarre social centre. Nonetheless, that is, in part, the point. Today, people (foodies included) are always searching for something “different”, something “authentic”, something “original”. That’s Angel’s. I discovered it when I first came to Spain. I poked my head inside and asked what on earth the place was, to discover a refuge from modern society, somewhere to share passion for good, honest food and to have a riotously good time.

When you steel yourself and step across the threshold into the Aladdin’s cave of an interior, you will soon be greeted by your host’s booming voice. One look at Angel, and you can tell he enjoys his food. This bear of a man, a former goatherd from Extramadura, in the far west of Spain, came to Barcelona at the age of fourteen to make his way in life. Here, you can see he has found his niche in the world, and it is well worth your while observing him as he cooks, serves you, sings, plays the piano, insults the regulars and more. If it sounds like he does absolutely everything, well, he does. And he does it with a gusto and enthusiasm which are completely infectious.

Talking with Angel reveals his passion for food and for life. “Cooking is a pleasure” he says, “it’s like making love to someone you love. You have to spoil her, stroke her”. And indeed, for him, food is like a women. He treats both lustily, likes them both pure and unadorned (“a woman with a beautiful face needs little to ??”). Quality ingredients are the key for this self-taught chef. With them, he cooks traditional Spanish food (his tortilla de patatas –36 eggs and kilos of potatos– is legendary, as are his meat dishes). And lots of it: come to Angel’s hungry!  “Se jode el baile”??

Angels sums up his philosophy simply: “Cooking is way of life. If you prepare things with love, the rest comes easily”.

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Back in 2006 I spend with some friends one of the most amazing afternoons at Angels. No wonder that allmost all these friends are cooking club members now. Thanks again Katrien for this precious tip!

Comment by Luc Theuwis




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