Thursday February 23rd, 2012 12:11 PM
Tondeluna, one of Logroño’s newest and most interesting restaurants, was sold-out last night for the first of the Somos Capital series of talks organised by the Riojan chef Francis Paniego.
Paco Morales, a young chef from Cordoba who runs his eponymous restaurant at Hotel Ferrero de Bocairent in Valencia, told how he broke away from non-stop pizza making to join the ever-growing ranks of Spanish Michelin-starred cooks. He now concocts around 50 new dishes a year and last night let on about both the physical and mental processes behind some of them.
The talks have been inspired by Logroño gaining the epithet earlier this month of Gastronomic Capital of Spain 2012. In the coming weeks, some of the country’s foremost chefs such as Juan Mari Arzak of Arzak (three Michelin stars) and Andoni Luís Aduriz of Mugaritz (two stars), will take part in the Somos Capital series at Tondeluna.
Friday February 3rd, 2012 04:30 PM
The call came just as my feet were finally getting warm in my draughty study. It was -4C outside and snowing and I was happy to spend the morning doing admin. “Ah James, I bet it’s snowed lots in Ezcaray,” said the voice on the line. “How about going and getting us some photos.” It was Javier from Diario La Rioja.
I normally like getting calls from the picture desk of the newspaper. They call me up from time to time to go and take a portrait of someone or if something exciting is going on in my corner of La Rioja. Being sent out by the paper is a good way to meet local people and also gives me the chance to try out new techniques.
With the freezing weather yesterday, I was a bit less enthusiastic than normal but, on the other hand, how can you refuse the chance to play in the snow, even if it means numb fingers and toes? And of course it was nice to see this morning one of my pictures on the front page, despite strong competition from the paper’s other photographers.
Friday October 28th, 2011 04:01 PM
One of the first rules of photography that I learned as a child was to shoot with the sun behind your back. But what do you do when the scene you want to capture is into the sun? Well, it’s time to break the rule.
It happened last week while out photographing the harvest at Bodega Remelluri on the border between La Rioja and the Basque Country. The vineyard sits beneath the sheer cliffs of the Sierra de Cantabria to the north. In every other direction there are spectacular views over the river Ebro valley, across a large chunk of La Rioja and to the distant mountains of Sierra de la Demanda.
And that scene was into the sun. I couldn’t wait for it to move as so too would have the pickers and with them the photo. So into the sun it is then. The trick is to decide the bit of the photo you want properly exposed and set the camera accordingly – in my case, that’s normally someone’s face. The background, being brighter, is at risk of burning out. However, so long as the bit that’s properly exposed holds the viewer’s attention and you can at least suggest the surroundings, the chances are the photo will work. Fingers crossed.
Sunday June 19th, 2011 02:39 PM
When you go out for lunch in an English pub it’s not uncommon to find yourself seated at a large table which you share with complete strangers.
The English, being a polite people, tend to offer an initial greeting to whomever they are sitting next to and then ignore them stoically. Sometimes that is how it remains for the rest of the meal. However, other times, particularly after a pint or two, an innocuous few words such as “Would you be kind enough to pass the salt?” lead to conversation and before you know it you’re friends for life. Or at least until the end of the coffee.
Communal eating is not normal in La Rioja, but Ezcaray’s Michelin-starred chef, Francis Paniego, is trying it out at Tondeluna, a new venture in Logroño with his wife Luisa Barrachina and Echaurren chef David González. They effectively are bringing some of their most successful dishes from the famous Echaurren restaurants to the region capital.
Press and public interest has been immense in the opening few days with the restaurant packed out. And hopefully enough people will have enjoyed the communal experience that they’ll be tempted back again and again.
Saturday April 30th, 2011 04:00 PM
The football season is in its final throws and the confirmation season is just about to start. For a few weeks the two overlap and a lot of the talk in the bars and streets is about one or the other. Fourteen Ezcaray children are being confirmed in June and the parents of one of them, Dani, asked me to take some portraits to mark the occasion.
Of course Dani, like most children his age, is captivated by football and particularly this season, the series of matches between his beloved Barcelona and Real Madrid. I spent a couple of hours with Dani this week. My aim was to produce a series of shots that reflected not only his confirmation but something of his character and passion for football.