From La Rioja

Low temp eggs and red peppers.

We´re getting closer the grand final, the time for determined who of us really took the opportunity to study as much as possible and finally turned that into an amazing dish? As the competetive person I am I´ve to say I´m excited for the competition. I´m more or less finished with my concept, the plates of “flavours from Spain” that hopefully will take me all the way to the winner. Anyway, what I got from my period in this program is difficult to value, what´s for sure a memory for life.

But until I´ll give you a final text and an overview of my opinions, experiences and profits I´m now at restaurant Echaurren and finish in a region I always wanted to visit. As the huge fan of wines I am my situation can´t be better at the moment. They´re out there just waiting for me to visit. Hopefully filled with wines to try, with people who want to share just their passion for winemaking and hopefully I´ll leave this region in a month filled with knowledge about this paradise for Tempranillo. My first contact with a winery was last week when friends from Cáceres visited and we went for a visit to Marqués del Riscal. Entering the old caves from the 19th century where bottles been untouched since then and the contrast with the amazing modern bulding by Frank Gehry.
Me in the Marqués de Riscal winery.
After the visit we went to Logroño for lunch. Francis Paniego which is my chef at Echaurren took us to his new restaurant Tondeluna placed at the main square. A conceptual and casual restaurant buildt more like a classroom than a diningroom. With large tables of ten with a small station in the end of each station for the waiters and chefs to prepare causes of the plates. With a casual diningroom and a menu with some traditional plates from Echaurren in a mix with modern ones a nice combinations of flavours. This is a place to enjoy great food in company with your friends, loudly laughing and sharing storys. We enjoyed classic croquettes, low temp eggs and red peppers, apple and cheese in a foam and best of all a delicious dessert with chocolate, bread and olive oil.
Before the day was over we finished with a dinner in the El Portal de Echaurren which is the michelin starred awarded part of Echaurren and where I´m working. Its always a different thing to taste the plates in the kitchen compare to having a dinner in the restaurant. I´ve had many one starred restaurants during my period in this program and I´ve to say that this is one of the best ones. Great flavours, balanced menu of textures, combinations and variety of produce. Another week is accomplished, next time you hear from me I´m going to give you my favorite wine of La Rioja.
Salud!
Christofer Johansson
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