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Stefania is originally from the colorful region of Puglia in southern Italy. But when she was granted a scholarship to study abroad, she randomly ticked a box on her application form, and as a result, she was soon settling down in sunny Barcelona. Andreu, who has both Portuguese and Catalan blood running through his veins, settled in the city with his family in 1986. The story of this international and entrepreneurial couple was finally initiated when a common denominator – their work as event planners – brought them together. A year later, a passion for gastronomy and culture had become an evident part of their lives and In (Andreu) & Out (Stefania) Barcelona was born. We chatted with the two to find out more about their blog, the gastronomic scene of Barcelona and naturally, to learn about the Barcelona Foodie Guide.
Could you tell us a bit more about your blog In&Out Barcelona and your vision behind it?
In&Out Barcelona is your blog if you are looking for a sincere reading; if you are interested on food trends of the city; and if you are looking for places with soul, young and independent chefs and entrepreneurs.
A lot of things have changed from the early beginnings of the blog when we took photos with our mobiles, but the essence is the same: we write about bars, restaurants and events, which all contribute in building a better world because their view is innovative or romantically traditional.
You have also co-written a book about Barcelona’s best independent restaurants, cafés and bars. How did the idea for the Barcelona Foodie Guide come about? What was your motivation and inspiration as a team?
The idea of these guides – The Ultimate Barcelona Foodie Guide and 24 Hour Foodie People –came from Marta Garreta of Lamaga Comunica. This young and fresh communication agency was proposing O Lo Comes O Lo Dejas and us to identify the top independent and innovative bars, restaurants and food trucks of Barcelona – they trusted our criteria, and we decided to include our very favorites in these two guides. As food bloggers, Serge and Laura from O Lo Comes O Lo Dejas and Andreu and myself are familiar with a lot of nice places in the city, so it was easy to write and shoot our top, as well as transmit their concept.
We are really proud of the guides as they, indeed, are demonstrating the fact that collaboration is the key in building new projects and in promoting independent talents.
How do you perceive Barcelona’s gastronomic scene at the moment, and what have been some of the most significant changes over the past few years?
Variety is maybe the most adequate word to describe Barcelona’s gastronomic scene. We have some great and famous chefs whose talent is recognized all over the world and a new wave of young entrepreneurs who are willing to bring something new to the city.
Just consider Onna Coffee or Satan’s Coffee Corner; it was impossible to think about speciality coffeeshops many years ago. Or take a look at Hiro and his incredible Ramen or Laura Veraguas and her concerns about respect of nature and food or the professionalism of several food trucks like Caravan Made or Eureka. Actually, in our first guide – The Ultimate Foodie Guide – we only included five food trucks as the best ones to describe this phenomenon in Barcelona.
There are many good (and terrible) restaurants in Barcelona – what is the most important thing for you guys when going about choosing a place to eat and drink ?
For us, the most important thing is quality of food and honesty towards what you are offering to your clients and towards your professional role. And last but not least, the service. There are too many places where the staff is not professional at all – they might not be trained and do not transmit any good feelings.
Having said this, thanks to the two guides we’ve had the pleasure of working with, we have been in touch with a lot of young chefs as well as coffee and ice cream makers with small businesses – people with big projects and big hearts; these are the places where we want to be.
There are several publications and guides about Barcelona’s gastronomic scene – tell us what makes the 24 Hour Foodie People special?
No money has exchanged hands for the restaurants and cafés to be featured in the guides. All you can see and read there is because we wanted the places to be featured. We are proud to be different in this specific way from many other guides and blogs.
Our last guide, 24 Hour Foodie People, has been compiled according to the moment of a day: coffee (only specialty coffeeshops), lunch, snack, afterwork and dinner. Basically, you can choose your best moment to taste Barcelona, and this is also quite unique.
And of course, the design by Lamaga is very attractive, and the pictures by O Lo Comes O Lo Dejas and In&Out Barcelona make the 24 Hour Foodie People everything else but boring!
We have also included a map in there so you can easily find places, trace your tour and take the guide with you since it comes in pocket size.
Who is the chef you would most like to have dinner with?
Stefania: Hiro of Ramen Ya Hiro.
Andreu: Marc and Raquel of Casa Xica.
Interview conducted by Anna Jauhola