5 Days Off

Me in Sevilla

After a period with too many hours in the kitchen I finally get the opportunity to have some days off. These days have been planned for a long time because I got company from Sweden for some days. My mom, dad and a cousin to my mom have been visiting and we literally almost crossed the whole country. I started on Thursday morning when I left Cáceres to Madrid to pick them up at the airport. From that moment five intensive days began and we started with the oldest restaurant in the world – Botin. Founded in the beginning of the 18th century and still serves traditional food in the old basement under the ground. To introduce my parents for some Spanish plates we had a three course menu with Gazpacho, suckling pig and finishing with ice-cream. Of course a nice bottle of Rioja – a great start of this holiday.

The next day we went up early to have time enough to see as much as possible. A day in Madrid when it showed its best side with “Museo del Prado”, we walked thru the Plaza Mayor and the antique marketplace “San Miguel” and stopped for some tapas and sangría for lunch. We moved down to the Royal Palace before we walked back after a great day in the capital. With our rented car we took direction to Cáceres.

Saturday morning started even earlier when our trip moved on to Sevilla and a three hour drive south. Almost 20 years ago when the World Expo was held in Sevilla my former school was moved to Sweden. This may sound weird but the fact is that the Swedish pavilion that stood in Sevilla in 1992 later was moved to Sweden and to a cute little town Grythyttan that now holds the school of hospitality, meal science and culinary arts – my school between 2007 and 2010. So here we were 20 years later to see the place where it stood. With amazing weather we walked around the city from “Plaza de España”, to the city park with the statue of Christopher Columbus and later to the old cathedral where he´s buried. Another amazing excursion and on our way back we drove thru Almendralejo, another cute little town close to Cáceres.

Sunday was committed to Cáceres and I got the opportunity to show my parents the town that I soon will leave when we are changing restaurants. Cáceres keeps a beautiful old part where also the restaurant is placed. So after a tour in town we moved on to Atrio to meet my colleagues and to show my parents the restaurant. An afternoon picnic in the city park to rest our legs before we ended the day in Cáceres with a dinner at Atrio.

With my family in Habla winery

Monday was our last day together and I had planned to see some local products typical from Extremadura. First of all a winery to get the chance to see more about the wine production in this region. Bodega Habla – A new vinery which produces high quality wines in a region that mostly keeps more simple wines. A great experience for both me and my parents – my first winery in this region and the first ever for my parents. We drove to Trujillo, another cute town in the region with lots of history. Town of conquistador Francisco Pizarro who discovered Peru after Columbus found America. The day was over after we visited a sheep farm and their production of the protected cheese for this region – Torta del Casar.

Five amazing days and time to go back to the kitchen and finish my period here in Cáceres and restaurant Atrio. Few weeks left here and I realize how much I´ve experienced here so far. With lots of new energy I´m now ready to end this part and begin a new – a new part with a new job? More about that later!

Cheers!

Christofer Johansson
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