Last Day at El Quim and Rafa Nadal

30 Apr

Saturday was my last day at El Quim… at least as a stage (for a while..I hope to go back). As usual, I was spoiled rotten. In the middle of the day, a woman came in carrying the most gorgeous bouquet of tropical flowers. She asked me if I was Rachel. I immediately smiled and then looked at Quim. The card was signed by all the guys.

This is a pic of the stunning flowers in my apartment:

Then, at the end of the day after I had finished a plate of pasta, wild mushrooms and seafood; and my dessert sampler Quim prepared from 3 of their desserts (creme catalana, a coconut chocolate he developed with a chocolatier-friend, and arroz con leche), Quim presented me with yet another gift – a gorgeous new Global knife. Could he be sweeter?

Below are pics of my dessert sampler (yummmm!), the flowers with the note the guys signed, and a pic of the knife and note on the knife box that reads,”The best chef of El Quim de la Boqueria. From the whole team, we will never forget you!” I love the notes, but the one on the knife box is not correct. I’m the worst chef at El Quim, but it was sooooo much fun learning from everyone.

I played with baby squid, sea snails (surprisingly, my stomach didn’t revolt after eating one of the little suckers raw, right out of the shell ) and baby fish (pictured at top). I learned that I love eggs semi-deep fried in olive oil, and that although I hate turning 100s of artichokes each day, the final product is well worth it. I learned that there’s no way in hell I could do in Hawaii what they do at El Quim, for various reasons, and that’s why El Quim’s is so special. Although I won’t be able to recreate what Quim has in his little paradise, I am so glad I was able to watch the magic that happened in that kitchen every day through the use of the freshest ingredients; by a passionate, fun and funny team of “brothers” that works extremely hard yet fluidly with one another; with an amazing leader at the helm. How lucky and honored I have been to work with you and all the guys, Quim!

There is a back story to the knife. At about 11 a.m. one morning, the large pressure cooker broke, so Quim asked if I wanted to run an errand with him to the restaurant supply store. Por supuesto (but, of course)! So, we went to the get a new gigantor pressure cooker and while we were waiting we looked at knives. I told him I liked Japanese knives and I picked up a particular Global knife. Right before we left, Quim snatched it up, along with another knife, and said, “One for me and one for Yuri.” So, naturally, I thought he was buying himself a knife and one for his son, Yuri.

As it turns out, I received the beautiful Global knife. I can’t wait to try it out at Dos Palillos tomorrow! Quim, I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Sunday…I woke up to another beautiful day and to Karina giddy that we were going to see her idol, Rafael Nadal, play at the Barcelona Open. We made our way over to the stadium at about 1:00 p.m. and somehow ended up going through the employee entrance, unnoticed. Our seats were in the 15th row of section A – pretty darn good seats. We watched the men’s doubles final. Unfortunately, the Spanish team lost to the Germans. Booooo!

Then, came Rafa v. David Ferrer. That was one of the best matches I’ve seen in a very long time. These guys were very evenly matched yesterday, and dare I say that I do think Ferrer was the better player all the way through except for the last 30 minutes.

Here’s David Ferrer, at the start of the match:

Here’s Rafa before the match:

Here’s the scoreboard and shot of the arena:

Rafa, serving (yes, we had very good seats and my baby Olympus camera has great zoom):

The boys with their trophies:

Rafa and Ferrer spraying cava at each other (love that!):

You can tell by the pics that it was a gorgeous day. The tournament ended at about 7 p.m. and it was still sunny and lovely all the way through the cava spraying. A thoroughly enjoyable 6 hours! My dad and Maren would have loved to have been there (big tennis folks; both former high school tennis coaches who can still kick my butt).

Okay, I’m off to get some fruit and a few veggies, as tomorrow is yet another holiday in Barcelona and I am told that most places will be closed. One parting pic of my regalos (gifts) and me. Cheers, Quim! I’ll miss you guys, but I’ll be back to eat 🙂

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2 Responses to “Last Day at El Quim and Rafa Nadal”

  1. carnet May 1, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    Your collection of knives is starting to scare me…

  2. Hughes May 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I would imagine the knives are safe with Hampig, unless you act up again? Good luck with that C….

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