Homage to Cataluña – Expo

eat meat gallery

April 21st, 2012

… finally, we got to the Eat Meat Gallery at about 4.30pm for the opening and book launch.

Just to recap:

On November 26th, Olimax staged a one day mass portraiture even at the Eat Meat Gallery, Barcelona, on the theme “Homage to Cataluña”. The outcome was 100 digital artworks, all created on that single day.

George Orwell’s “Homage to Catalonia”, invokes an Englishman trying to come to terms with the contradictions within the culture and people of Cataluña and it’s in this spirit that the theme for the book and show was chosen.

god save the queen

As it’s (coincidentally) the Queen’s birthday, Oli paid a special tribute to the Sex Pistols.

all i oli

I was knocked out by how good the gallery looked – I’d been in the kitchen all day yesterday cooking the food, the last time I’d been at the gallery was two days ago. Rai, Katy, Oli and Matthew had done a great job!

oscar tube

As well as the majority of the images being in frames, there were a couple of 3D pictures – reflections in mirrored tubes.

pan con tomate pork belly

From a little cupboard room at the back, I set about preparing the food. The photo pork bellies went out on display

gin and tonic jellies

and I chopped up the gin and tonic photo jellies which were handed round to guests.

jonas jelly

Quite a few people ate their own likeness.

piping in the haggis

Somehow, as part of the culinary entertainment, we included Lindsay Kennard addressing a haggis, complete with a Catalan bagpiper!

solemn address to a haggis

Strictly speaking this is normally done each year on Burns Night (January 25th), but Oli was keen for Lindsay to do it and it made for a great spectacle.

veal penis

You’ll notice a little green bowl in front of the haggis address picture – Lindsay phoned us yesterday and asked for some, liver, offal and tripe to throw at people during the haggis address (how could we refuse). While buying the liver and tripe this morning, a woman next to us was buying veal penis. I asked how it was cooked and was told that it’s very good cooked like chicken soup (one of these days I’ll make some – you know I will). Anyhow, we bought a piece of penis as the unspecified offal.

making sure it’s dead

My fantastic London butchers (Theobalds) went to great lengths in order to find us a Macsweens Chieftain Haggis, these giant 8lb haggises are only produced around the time of Christmas and Burns Night – it’s likely that Grahame found the only Chieftan haggis in England.

stabbed haggis

Lindsay did such an enthusiastic job of stabbing the haggis to cut it open, that he cut 3 big holes in the bottom of the tray!

haggis tapas

The haggis was served on little slices of bread and washed down with Scotch Whisky. The Catalan appraisal of haggis was very good – most people came back for more and loved the taste (Oscar even took some home for his girlfriend). A few people commented on a similarity to a Catalan dish called Chireta.

carta ajuste

Next up came the first public showing of the film – All i Oli – Homage to Catalunya.
I handed out truffle flavoured popcorn, easily made by sprinkling truffle oil on fresh, hot popcorn.

sliced beef

I was grateful to have the guests occupied by the movie for 20 minutes, it gave me a chance to get on with carving the roast beef that I’d cooked yesterday.

mini yorkshire puddings

I cut the beef into small slices and added a piece each to 80 mini Yorkshire Puddings, along with a dollop of crème fraiche mixed with horseradish sauce. We’d done these “English tapas” for the shoot in November and they’d proved to be very popular. This time was no different – the roast beef didn’t last long!

pan con tomate tube

The evening went very well, even tucked away in the broom cupboard I’d managed to drink a few glasses of Catalan black wine (vi negre). The gallery closed, somewhat reluctantly, at about 10.30.

A group of us walked down through Gracia, buying beer from street sellers, en route for Cuitat Vella. We got cabs to Barrio Gotico from Diagonal and found a Basque bar which was just closing – they were, however, happy for us to come in a buy a couple of rounds of drinks. We drank several glasses of Patxaran each (a popular sloe liqueur from Pays Basque) and a Spanish bar customer picked up a guitar and started to play Flamenco. He was very good and to my mind, this kind of impromptu playing (from the heart) is far more enjoyable than paid concerts to tourists.

The Basque bar did close eventually, so we moved on – I have a distinct memory of crossing the Ramblas and Jonas buying us all beer from another street seller, who produced the cans from a manhole leading to the sewer! They hide their wares, because if the police catch them, everything gets confiscated.

We ended the night at Betty Ford’s bar on Joaquin Costa – most apt!

The Eat Meat Raw Gallery is at: C/l’ Alzina, 20 08024 Barcelona

The All i Oli – A Homage to Catalunya book is available from Amazon.

The All i Oli – A Homage to Cataluya film (Catalan subtitles) can be seen here.

About Mad Dog

This entry was posted in Barcelona, Drink, Eating Out, Food, Meat, Shopping, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Homage to Cataluña – Expo

  1. Pingback: Homage to Cataluña | Mad Dog TV Dinners

  2. ChgoJohn says:

    From start to finish, it sounds like it was one fantastic night, MD, and all of the hard work really paid off. The exhibit, the food, and, in some cases, the “spectacle” gave the attendees an unforgettable experience and you all something to be proud of. Congrats!

  3. Everything looks great! I love haggis washed down with scotch whisky 🙂

  4. You nearly lost me with the, er, members – I’ve never seen such a huge spread – I hope your guests appreciated all the planning and effort! Nothing anywhere near that amazing ever happens down here!! Looking forward to watching the film on Youtube. Did the local press come? Anyway, wish I’d been there (with my sandwich). What a night!

    • Mad Dog says:

      No press as far as I know (I was in the cupboard mind you), but there was some new excitement from someone in the Catalan culture department 😉

  5. It all sounds wonderful and great fun. I love the idea of Patxaran accompanied by impromptu flamenco, a great cultural mix. I love Patxaran and always bring some back when visiting Basque friends in Navarra.

  6. Fabulous post, making me very pissed off that I’m not in Barcelona. So many good images in that gallery. VERY impressed – congratulations to you and everyone involved.

  7. Audrey Evermore says:

    Betty Ford indeed… say it all … I am sure MD and OM are over dosing on good times … the cure is certainly to return to UK … ha xxxxxxxxx

  8. Audrey Evermore says:

    oh and … congratulations to all btw… success breeds success so I hope to see the food- baby brood soon .

  9. This is incredible! Am so annoyed that we couldn´t get up to Barcelona and share in what was such an amazing experience. I have visions of you in your cupboard turning out the gourmet tapas and you know, dont you, that I´m going to have to track down some veal penis of my very own?! At least I know the word now and won´t have to mime it for my butcher 😉

    • Mad Dog says:

      I have to confess that I had no problem asking for or about the penis. On my first day in Spain, 21 years ago, my girlfriend taught me just about every rude word in the Spanish dictionary – she was English of course! At the time I suspected that she was enabling me to know when someone was being insulting, now of course, I realise she was teaching me to cook!
      I suspect there may be a specific name for veal penis – do feel free to improve my cooking further 😉

  10. zestybeandog says:

    Wow what an off the wall event. This looks like it was a blast!

  11. Karen says:

    Well…it certainly sounds like the evening was very successful from the start to the very late drink from the streets.

  12. What a fantastic adventure on every level (even the sewer level!); I LOVE THIS POST (and need to get on a plane very soon…haven’t been to Barcelona, or Spain, in….well a really, really long time)

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  14. Fantastic! Everithing looks wonderful MD. You did a great job in the kitchen 😉

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