I had the good fortune on Thursday of being invited by my new friend, Sam Lardner, to lunch with some of his friends. Sam is a musician extraordinaire, and if I’m ever invited to lunch by him again, you’ll soon understand why I’ll drop most anything to go.
This ranks as my best day in Barcelona so far – and ranks with the Maisonette 50th Anniversary celebration as one of the most amazing gastronomic adventures I’ve ever had.
Our lunch involved about a 40km drive to a little village in the mountains called Vallgorguina. Once there we made our way to the home of Sam’s friend Carlos Piernas del Amor (an amazingly talented chef ). Carlos’ home also happens to be the base for his business “Carpier” which produces the most amazing smoked foods you’ve ever tasted – all of which I think I got to taste on Thursday.
Sam and Carlos’ friends also included the Martinez brothers – Ricard and Ernest – who are the artisans behind the Rimarts Cava brand. Carlos partner Kathi and assistant chef Shiro. Also in attendance were Xavier (Xavi) Pellicer, a 3 star Michelin chef now at Can Fabes in Sant Celoni outside of Barcelona, Ramon and Josep – also brothers managing a vineyard – not Cava in this case, but a Priorat. Rounding out the group were Christl Holzl, the director of the Sun Valley Wine Auction, Jose Luis, and Inigo – Carlos right hand man who for this gathering contributed a giant tuna he had caught fishing. Also visiting that day were another chef, Chef Saby (Sabyasachi Gorai), from New Delhi, India and his entourage.
We arrived at Carlos’ compound around 1:30 for lunch and we rolled out of there about 8:30. Our 7 hour lunch not even complete, as there were still dessert/coffee to be served.
As you can see, at least I did not miss out on the “after lunch” cocktails.
It was an absolutely stellar day. Sam, thanks so much for including me in a very special day with friends, and an experience of Catalan cuisine that anyone would treasure.
A couple more pictures from the day.