Spain: The Taste of Success
In a country such as Spain that ranks high in the European Michelin star league table, gastronomy becomes a key component and a very powerful tool in events.
The fact that Spain has 214 restaurants with Michelin stars, including 11 with 3 stars, shows that gastronomy is a vital component of the country’s incentives. Food can make up the entire occasion, it can be a key component of social activities in a congress or the perfect excuse for networking at a trade show.
Let's take a look at a few events in which gastronomy was the highlight.
The aesthetic revolution of the ‘90s meant that chefs like Arzak or Ferran Adrià stole the show from sports or pop stars; a revolution in which many catering companies took part, introducing crazy innovations into events. The dishes became works of art and required the catering to be a part of the message as well.
As an example, chef Ramón Freixa (from Life Gourmet Catering) recently hosted a healthy and unique gastronomical experience. It included molecular cocktails served by bionic arms, as well as a cooking demonstration by the chef himself, who has two Michelin stars. He prepared a variety of healthy dishes using liquid nitrogen, created fruits that turned into tasty steam in guests' mouths and instant ice creams with delicious combinations of flavours and colours.
Another trend is the return to local products, with all the flavour and charm that regional food provides. Part of going back to a region’s culinary roots is rounding off the experience by displaying the ingredients and having the final preparation of the dish on site to complete the picture. Cooking becomes part of the show; the kitchen is transferred to the event and the food, fresh and raw, is displayed with the same care as the final dishes, being a key part of the visual appeal.
The catering company called “21 de Marzo” recently organized a successful village festival for 800 guests in Barcelona, exquisitely decorating the space with coloured garlands and lanterns and setting varied stalls with local sausages, rice, tortillas, churros with chocolate, and much more, creating a relaxed, lively and festive occasion.
Finally, the trend that is sweeping the latest events is “technology applied to gastronomy”, where video mapping is projected from the walls and ceiling to the tables and allows a sensory journey which completes the foodie experience.
As an example, the company Spaintacular created a magical gastronomy display at the Platanera (a banana plantation) in Tenerife, with a huge 150m table that was the centre of an eclectic evening. Immersive mapping embraced five concepts: corporate, water, cosmos, volcano and colour, all related to the characteristics of the island, and was combined with music and artistic performances.
The combination of all these elements – local, tactile, nature, technology – achieved a Wow! effect.
For more information on unique gastronomic experiences and venues, visit Spain.info/en