Les Arts fuses opera and gastronomy with the help of chef Pablo Ministro at ‘Contrapunto’
– The arts centre and the chef of ‘Contrapunto’ restaurant prepare a gastronomic proposal inspired by the main opera and zarzuela titles.
– The mezzo-soprano Sandra Ferrández and the baritone Borja Quiza starred in the first session of ‘Maridajes’ about ‘El barberillo de Lavapiés’.
The Palau de les Arts fuses opera and gastronomy in ‘Maridajes’, a new initiative in collaboration with Pablo Ministro, chef of Contrapunto, which addresses, from the 21st century kitchen, the links between opera and zarzuela with their historical context to offer an experience beyond the culinary art.
The arts centre and the director of catering are launching this proposal on the occasion of the premiere of ‘El barberillo de Lavapiés’ on Friday 16 April. Based on the work by Francisco Asenjo Barbieri, chef Pablo Ministro approaches the traditions and tastes of eighteenth-century Madrid during the reign of Carlos III to prepare a menu in three acts, the same as those in which this zarzuela with libretto by Luis Mariano de Larra is divided.
The mezzo-soprano Sandra Ferrández (Paloma) and the baritone Borja Quiza (Lamparilla), protagonists of ‘El barberillo de Lavapiés’, have been the first diners to enjoy the gastronomic experience offered by the restaurant Contrapunto during the weeks in which the title is performed in the Sala Principal de Les Arts, with performances on the 16th, 18th, 20th and 22nd of April.
Both performers have agreed on the importance of gastronomy in the work, especially in the case of the barberillo, who, as the baritone recalls, in his first appearance on stage already announces his desire to eat a “celemín” in El Pardo. “Tasting this menu means plunging fully into the story of ‘El barberillo de Lavapiés’,” says Borja Quiza.
Maridajes’ is part of Les Arts’ commitment to offer new experiences around opera to bring both the artistic activity and the building itself to new audiences and audiences.
Menu in three acts
Ministro dedicates the first act to the change of habits that took place in the 18th century, when the privileged classes began to acquire customs borrowed from the popular classes, among them, the fashion of eating dishes typical of eating houses. For this, the chef suggests a ‘brioche’ of beef salpicon, a popular recipe from the poorer neighbourhoods that ended up conquering the palate of the nobility.
For the second act, the director of Contrapunto takes as a reference one of the bases of the food of the time, the flours, mainly rye, which were used both in the dough to make bread and in the preparation of the traditional migas (fried breadcrumbs).
Eggs, vegetables and greens completed the range of foods of the time, which Pablo Ministro pays homage to with some rye migas with poached eggs and acorn-fed Iberian ham; the latter as a nod to the ‘Jota de los estudiantes’, which, as it says in its chorus, “A la jota, jota, tienen un tragar, que con la bellota van a reventar” (To the jota, jota, they have to swallow, with the acorn they are going to burst).
As the final act of this culinary tour, the menu concludes with the same dish with which Carlos III used to faithfully culminate his meals: torrijas. Torrija with wine from the Canary Islands is the Valencian chef’s proposal to end the gastronomic journey through the Madrid of ‘El barberillo de Lavapiés’.
Report by 24/7 Valencia team