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A talk with Pau Santamaroa, one of the most renowned grower’s and land produce’ providers by gourmet restaurants in Spain

Now that we are venturing into autumn, Mother Earth has begun to offer many different products compared to those during the summer months. The look of our pantry has changed and we slowly transition from colourful and exotic flavours to eating more inviting ingredients, subtle yet very intense.

Taking this as our starting point, today we want to dig deeper into Pau Santamaria’s world, one of our most famous vegetable grower and provider that we currently have nationally. His knowledge towards the Earth’s products comes mainly from the passion that his dad passed on to him: deceased chef Santi Santamaria, owner of the Can Fabes restaurant already closed down and one of the most awarded Michelin Star chef in Spain together with Ferran Adrià, catalogued as one of the world’s best chefs.

Pau, where does your passion for the Earth’s products come from?
My dad was who passed on to me all his enthusiasm for cooking and the foods that the Earth gifts us. Since I was a small kid I lived through this passion and was always surrounded by mushroom-pickers and farmers from Montseny.

How did you start the project of distributing products to so many locals?
My wife, my father-in-low and myself are who all started this project. We were looking to reinvent ourselves professionally and it all began when the Via Veneto restaurant, with a Michelin Start, ordered us our very first command the day after I had personally visited them with a basket full of fresh vegetables for them to try and get to know our product. Ever since they turned on the engines and more restaurants started coming to us.

What is your secret to serve to high range restaurants in Barcelona and other regions?
Everything we produce is organic, and therefore the flavours and quality of the product we serve is excellent and very well taken care of.

Mushrooms are a typical product of autumn and you know that from first hand. Could you recommend any recipes using this ingredient?
In this case I’d definitely recommend one of my dad’s recipes, Santi Santamaria: Red Prawn Raviolis with “Ceps” oil, one of the most characteristic species of wild mushrooms in our region. In general this dish consists of serving the ravioli wrapped with the red prawn, and using as condiment glazed onion and mushrooms. Then, all you have to do is cover it with oil flavoured with these wild mushrooms, “ceps”. The result is extraordinary.

In what new growing techniques have you been part of? Could you give us some details?
One of the most relevant is the re-discovery of the hitlacoche, a fungus that grows in corn fields. In many countries it is considered a plague, however in Mexico it is consumed and even considered a gourmet product. Now we’ve discovered how to grow it here too. This year we’ve been growing a lot of green chickpeas, an ingredient that has been very solicited by the restaurants kitchens.

We would love to have kept asking Pau more questions but it’ll have to wait for next time. Until then, we’re pretty sure Pau will keep on adding value and knowledge to the agriculture sector.

If after reading our post you’d like to taste some of these delicious autumn flavours we’ve been talking about, come visit El Mall restaurant at Crowne Plaza Barcelona and we’ll surprise you with all the different flavours and emotions that this season’s dishes will evoke. Come and visit us!

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What to wear during a wedding in autumn?

Finding the appropriate outfit to wear for a wedding is definitely a mission. More so is the challenge when you have to bear in mind not only the dress code for the event, but also the weather specially if talking about autumn or spring, seasons where the forecast is quite unpredictable to whether it will be cold or the temperatures will rise.

Weddings are one of those celebrations that at Crowne Plaza Barcelona we are most experienced at. Throughout our entire trajectory we have received thousands of guests in our venues and have seen all sorts of outfits and styles among them. Now that at the hotel we have the new Montjuïc Terrace – an open air venue with exclusive views to the National Palace of Barcelona (MNAC), ready to organize any kind of event – as you’ll imagine a celebration of love from here is absolutely amazing.

For this reason we have collected a series of tips on this post where we have adventured into helping you pick the perfect outfit for a wedding during autumn, specially focused in women as men in general can put it together with an elegant suit and wearing a tie or bow.

Should you bring something for outerwear?
If the wedding celebration takes place at night, protocol will save you as it is defined that you should wear a long outfit. If is takes place during the day you can also apply this rule and choose some wide leg trousers or a long dress that covers all the way to your feet. For the top, choose an elegant and sophisticated garment that matches your outfit in general. You can also play with tights or a shawl in case your really doubting what the weather will be like.

Trending colours to wear in autumun
A basic rule at weddings is to not dress in white or very light colours so that you don’t eclipse the bride, and also some people may also prefer not to dress in red as this may attract too much attention. For the rest of rules when it comes to dress code they have slowly been left behind. Black is more than acceptable in these kind of celebrations and any other colour will work perfectly.

However as autumn is such a bucolic season, why not wear a shiny garment in gold or silver? If you choose a good outfit that follows style and quality materials, we’re pretty sure you will make the right choice, without standing out too much among the rest of guests or the newly weds.

Shoes
When attending a wedding during autumn shoes may also cause some concerns. What is a better choice, an open pair of sandals or closed shoes? In general it will always depend on the outfit that you are wearing, however if you are more inclined to wearing some heel straps or open shoes, it is recommended to protect yourself from the cold by wearing some tights or transparent stocking tights. It will definitely be a good idea if you also bring another pair of more comfortable closed shoes just in case it decided to rain or get colder.

Accesories
With accessories we follow the advice that “less is more”. However and just like before, the amount of accessories or jewelry that you pick such as earrings, necklace, rings, handbag or belt among others, will depend on the outfit you’re wearing, if it’s more simple or more decorated with patterns, colours or other elements. In this last second, try and wear the fewer accessories as possible so that your outfit is what really highlights.

 

In order to attend a wedding during autumn there are no strict rules on what to wear. Often you will find that common sense is the best option and that you are well informed before-hand as to what the weather and venue will be like. It won’t be the same if the wedding is right next to the ocean, in the countryside or up in the mountains. Once you know the location and exact date it will get much easier to pick one outfit or the other. And from then on…

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