From Barcelona to San Sebastian, Spain is famous for being one of the most gastronomically fascinating countries in Europe. Here are some of the most unique food events to keep an eye out for in Spain.
This three-day long event in the Spanish capital brings together some of the leading chefs and food specialists from across Spain and Europe for one of the most influential events of its kind in the country. Previous speakers at Madrid Fusion have included Ferran Adrià, David Muñoz, Takayuki Otani and Janice Wong. Over the course of the event, there will be a full program, including technical demonstrations, food workshops and competitions.
The largest gastronomic event of its kind to take place in the Spanish capital, the Gastrofestival Madrid is a two-week long celebration of food and gastronomic culture. There are over 400 participating venues, including restaurants, cocktail bars and food stores, organised food tastings, cooking shows and other food-related activities. The events are divided into six categories: Sensory Experiences, Gastroculture, Gastrohealth, Gastrofashion, Oenology and Gastronomic Madrid.
Where: Various venues in Madrid, Spain
The largest food trade show in Southern Europe, Alimentaria Barcelona features over 3,500 exhibitors and draws over 140,500 visitors. While the event attracts many professionals, it’s also of interest to anyone who wants to see the latest innovations in food technology or get the chance to sample some of the finest Spanish produce. The event only takes place every two years, and places usually sell out before opening, so be sure to sign-up online in plenty of time.
When: Every two years in spring – next event April 16–19, 2018
Japan Meets Barcelona and Ibiza
In 2017, three of the most prestigious chefs from Japan will cook together in four top restaurants in Barcelona and Ibiza. Kentaro Nakahara, Takaaki Sugita and Yoshiteru Ikegawa will be sharing a kitchen for the first time as they prepare Japanese dishes made from Spanish ingredients at the Mandarin Hotel and Pakta in Barcelona, followed by Sa Nansa and Lamuella, two restaurants in Ibiza.
When: June 2–7, 2017
Hotel Tapa Tour
Back by popular demand for this second edition, the Hotel Tapa Tour offers participants the chance to sample food in some of Madrid’s most prestigious hotels. In each of the 30-plus four- or five-star hotels taking part, there will be two different tapas to choose from as well as a live competition via an app to rank the best tapas. There will be some big names in attendance, such as Michelin-starred chefs Martín Berasategui and Marc Gascons, and many hotels organise live music events and wine tastings alongside.
When: June 15–25, 2017
Where: See website for full list of participating hotels
Taking place in the northern province of Asturias – famous for its fruity cider among other things – Fermentaria is a food festival dedicated to the age-old process of fermentation. Whether it’s making wine and spirits or cultivating your own bread base, fermentation is essential to many of our favourite foods, and there will be plenty of occasions to try them over the course of this two-day event.
When: June 17–18, 2017
Cava Week at Sant Sadurní d’Anoia
Over 70% of the grapes used to produce Cava – the Spanish sparkling wine – are grown in Catalunya, and the small town of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is considered the Cava capital. Each year the town organises a week-long celebration of the drink, attracting thousands of visitors from across Catalunya. Events kick off with the crowning of that year’s Cava Queen, after which there is a large feast followed by dances, folklore and music.
When: October 7, 2017
La Rosa de Azafrán in Consuegra
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world, fetching up to €3,000 per kilo in some instances, and Spain is one of the largest producers of the spice worldwide. Each year in the town of Consuegra, located in the region of Castilla la Mancha, saffron is the guest of honour at La Rosa de Azafrán festival, which takes place during the last weekend of October. There are processions and displays of folkloric tradition as well as saffron peeling competitions and, of course, plenty of opportunities to sample the delicate flavour of saffron.
When: October 27–29, 2017
Where: Consuegra, Toledo, Spain
The Barcelona Wine Experience
If Barcelona is one of the foodie capitals of Spain, Catalonia is also one of the country’s major wine-producing regions, responsible for over 70% of the national Cava production. This autumn, local wine connoisseurs Astrid Högström and Alice Longhurst-Jones are organising The Barcelona Wine Experience, a four-day tour of the Priorat region, including visits to some outstanding vineyards and plenty of wine tasting along the way.
When: September 7–11, 2017
Where: Barcelona and the nearby countryside