November 2010

Michelin star renewed for Portal del Echaurren, Ezcaray

Monday November 29th, 2010 05:32 PM

Francis Paniego

Congrats to Francis Paniego, the head chef of the Portal del Echaurren restaurant, who has once again been awarded with a Michelin Star, one of the highest accolades in global gastronomy.

The Michelin Guide describes El Portal as:

“A regional leader in gastronomy, this restaurant serves creative cuisine that always uses seasonal produce.”

In 2004, Francis became the first chef in La Rioja to gain a Michelin star. His cooking draws people from across Spain and further afield to Ezcaray to discover the charms of the area. I’ve recently photographed some of Francis’s latest creations and, yes, they taste as good as they look.

This year, for the first time, Francis is joined in the guide by a second Riojano chef, Ignacio Echapresto, who runs the kitchen of Venta Montcalvillo, in Daroca de Rioja, a hamlet of 24 inhabitants near Logroño.

Portal del Echaurren

Portal del Echaurren

Portal del Echaurren

Portal del Echaurren

Night wedding of Rosa y Agustín, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Monday November 8th, 2010 05:41 PM

boda echaurren la rioja ezcaray

Night time weddings are a challenge.  Just as a singer needs their voice for a concert, a photographer needs light to work. So I was a little more nervous than normal before Rosa and Agustín’s evening wedding at the Echaurren hotel in Ezcaray, La Rioja.

We took advantage of the beautiful late afternoon autumnal sunshine to get a few portrait pictures, and there was still daylight coming in the windows as Rosa got dressed up. But it was pitch black outside by the time of the ceremony.

Until very recently there would have been little option but to use flash, which solves the lighting problem but ruins the ambience. Today’s professional cameras, however, are much better at working in low light situations so that, with a bit of thought and attention to where the light is coming from, it’s possible to snap away discretely from the shadows. Often it’s just a case of find a well-lit spot and waiting for something interesting to happen there.

My thanks for Rosa and Agustín for being such a relaxed couple and letting me do my own thing. And yes, sharp eyed readers will see I did use a bit of flash towards the end of the night on the dance floor. But no one minds when they’re doing the conga.

There are some more photos in this gallery.

boda ezcaray la rioja

boda ezcaray la rioja

boda ezcaray la rioja

boda ezcaray la rioja

boda ezcaray la rioja

boda ezcaray la rioja

boda ezcaray la rioja

boda ezcaray la rioja