Mi Noche Americana – Global Galicia – Diana Pérez Morán

The Camino Connects us in so many special ways many of which we do not know where it will lead or what it will bring into our lives.  Friendships and wonderful adventures for sure, as well as, new beginnings supporting our dreams and creative passions to be expressed in ways we could have never imagined.  Just like the Camino it is taking the first step and following where we feel guided and opening up in ways that allow us to meet new people, explore and discover.  It was this way when I met Diana Pérez Moran and her wonderful family as I had wanted to visit their store for many months having heard about it from others in the town.  On this specific day I decided to explore and make a visit to La Bolsera Gallega and to my wonderful surprise it was to be a special visit that would lead to friendship and many fun experiences. In La Jolla my mother and I would visit a similar store, Warwick’s, that always delighted us with its incredible offerings of beautiful cards, specialty items for office and work, party decorations and so much more. I was greeted by Clara Morán owner and mother to Diana. Clara introduced me to Diana and it was the first of many visits and other special times together where I enjoyed meeting the rest of the family. Amazing how what we may think is just a quick visit to a local store leads to friendship and alliances that extend to the other side of the world.  With me now living in Galicia and Diana now in USA – truly a unique Vice Versa with more adventures surely to come. A very special thank you to Diana for including me in her article and to her and her family for making me feel at home in GALICIA – Muchisimas Gracias!!!

De Santiago de Compostela a los Estados Unidos… y viceversa…
Mi amiga Susan se refiere a las casualidades de la vida como Synchronicities … ella que de éstas entiende un buen rato ya que han sido una constante a lo largo de sus diferentes etapas vitales- Hace tres años la llevaron a dejar el paraíso de La Jolla en California por otro un tanto más lluvioso… el Camino de Santiago, y en Galicia se quedó.

Un buen día entró por la puerta del negocio familiar y nos pusimos a charlar, desde entonces hemos compartido trabajo, historias, muchas casualidades y una gran amistad. Susan me contó su proyecto para promocionar el Camino, si ella se había enamorado de estas tierras ¿Por qué otros no podrían hacer lo mismo?

y con nuestra pasión común por Galicia tanto yo como los amigos que la rodeamos habitualmente quisimos ser parte de las ideas que nos iba proponiendo: un libro, un documental, una promoción de productos gastronómicos… una experiencia…

Cuando decidí seguir mi camino personal, el que me llevó al Festival de Cine de Sundance al otro lado del charco, Susan me regaló una concha de peregrino que simbolizaba las diferentes direcciones que tomamos en la vida y me dijo “Creo que en las montañas de Utah encontrarás más de un camino”…

Cierto… casi un año más tarde sigo por aquí, caminando… y no he tenido que esperar mucho para cruzarme por casualidad con otros pasos, los de Lydia Smith y su documental “Walking the Camino – Six Ways to Santiago” en el Park City Film Series, organización que fomenta el cine independiente, en un lugar donde la cinefilia es una característica permanente.

Al igual que Susan, Lydia Smith hizo el Camino hace unos años, su decisión la inspiró para escribir esta historia real de seis peregrinos de diferentes nacionalidades que realizan el viaje a Santiago por motivos variados: una muerte, una búsqueda de respuestas, una fe desmedida, un cambio… La experiencia y las casualidades del camino serán decisivas en el transcurso de sus vidas.

El documental que se proyectó este verano en el Festival de Cine de Santiago de Compostela se ha llevado con éxito a diferentes salas y festivales de Europa, Canadá y Estados Unidos. De hecho en la web Rotten Tomatoes, una de las referencias en crítica cinematográfica la calificación media supera el 9, una nota más que merecida a juzgar por los aplausos de la sala del Prospector Theatre.

Películas como “The Way” de Martin Sheen y Emilio Estévez, y documentales como el de Lydia Smith han ayudado a situar Galicia en el mapa americano, poco a poco Susan va avanzando en la misma dirección con su marca “Bo Camiño”. Estoy segura de que ésta no será la última vez que escuche el nombre de Santiago de Compostela en los Estados Unidos…

“¿Saben ustedes qué es el Camino de Santiago? pregunta el presentador del teatro… Pues El Camino de Santiago termina en una tierra encantada llamada GALICIA…”

For more information please visit: http://www.globalgalicia.org/minocheamericana/2014/09/22/de-santiago-de-compostela-a-los-estados-unidos-y-viceversa/

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Bo Camiño TASTE IT! – Ponferrada La Noche Templaria

GASTRONOMY IN THE CAMINO

La Noche Templaria – The Night Of The Templar Festival – had us back out filming Bo Camiño TASTE IT! in Ponferrada.  The city so named for the “Bridge Pons Ferrata” that provided easier crossing for pilgrims who could choose from two different and important routes along the way. The Camino Francés that heads northwest to Villa Franca Del Bierzo or the Camino Invierño – The Winter way that heads west avoiding the snow topped mountains in winter of O Cebreiro the gateway into Galicia.

Jaime Pardo and Maria Santín of Imaxina Diseño, German Limeres of Gastrofotographia and I enjoyed meeting new people, taking in the atmosphere of the ancient town of Ponferrada and filming some of the unique gastronomy, fun festival events and ceremonies.  A very special thank you to Jesus who coordinated our activities and for meeting some wonderful people in Ponferrada including Gabriel Vallejo Carnero – La Destileria Bar, Maxi Campelo – Casa Las Bombas Restaurant, and Miguel A. Varela – Teatro Municipal Bergidum for including us in some incredible gastronomy and festival ceremonies.

 

The Fantastic Forum

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Just a quick programming note: Stacy Lutsch here. “Who?” I can hear you asking from across the Atlantic.  I’ve lived in Santiago for the past 2 ½ years, I met Susan a year ago while working at a tourism fair in a tiny Galician village and I am now one half of the American contingent of the Bo Camiño biz here in Galicia, and one quarter of the overall team (we’re lucky enough to have two Galician marketing superstars working with us; that would be the “Fantastic Four” pun that I was going for in the title).

 I’ll be hanging around the blog for the foreseeable future, writing about the work Bo Camiño is doing, the food I’m eating, the wine I’m drinking, the people we’re meeting, and trying my damnedest not to complain too much about the rain.  

 Here’s the first of two posts about the Fórum Gastronómico—that Susan’s already blogged a bit about. Enjoy!

So, what happens when the entire Spanish food and wine scene descends upon the Galician city of A Coruña for three days for the Fórum Gastronómico (Spain’s National Gastronomy Forum)?

A much needed, and very much deserved, spotlight is shone on contemporary Galician gastronomy.

It’s very difficult (not impossible, though) to have a bad culinary experience in Galicia. The ingredients are so fresh, the recipes so refined by centuries of tasting and revising, the chefs so experienced, and the hospitality so warm and welcoming, that most of the meals that I have consumed here have fulfilled gastronomic needs that I didn’t even know I had.

Yet somehow, Galicia is not the place most people—especially most U.S. Americans—think of when Spanish gastronomy is brought up, which is what we at Bo Camiño are working to change.

A quick word association game that I’ve played with friends in the U.S., some culinary professionals, some not—proves my point:

Me: What do you think of when I say “Spanish food”?

Friend/Acquaintance: Umm…tapas?

Me: What kind of tapas?

F/A: Is gazpacho Spanish?

Me: Sure. And Spanish chefs?

F/A: “That dude from that place with all the foam…Bull something?” Or, sometimes if I’m lucky, I’ll get “Ferrán what’s-his-name” (That would be Adriá. Also, his restaurant El Bulli closed in 2011).

And so on. Sometimes people know WAY more than this, and sometimes WAY less. It just depends. But this is par for the course. And who/what is mentioned? Tapas, check. Gazpacho, check (we’ll attribute that one to Andalucía). El Bulli, check (and that goes firmly in the “Cataluña” pile). But Galicia? Nada. Not once.

And after two and half years of living and working in Galicia, I can tell you with the utmost confidence that that is simply not fair. Because Galicia has everything: seriously talented and creative chefs, with a combined total of 11 Michelin Stars; award-winning wines; mouthwatering seafood; all at prices that won’t cost you a month’s rent (and without waiting a year to get a reservation!).

Oh, and did I mention that Galicia has gin, too? Let me introduce you to Nordés. They also make vodka, and have a new line of vermouths. They will change your life. Thank me later.

Oh, and did I mention that Galicia has gin, too? Let me introduce you to Nordés. They also make vodka, and have a new line of vermouths. They will change your life. Thank me later.

So when an event like the Gastronomy Forum comes along, bringing with it a national—and international—presence to A Coruña, the lovely (albeit rain-drenched) largest city in the area, you have to, as we say here, aprovechar or enjoy it (not so coincidentally, this is also what you say before tucking into a delicious meal).

Which is exactly what the Bo Camiño team did this last 23, 24 and 25 of February. Thanks to the generosity of the Forum’s organizers, a joint venture between the Catalan team of Pep Palau and Jaume von Arend and the amazingly talented Galician PR and events firm, Trevisani, Bo Camiño was able to not just partake in, but also actively participate in the sights, sounds, smells and above all, the out-of-this-world, too-good-to-be-true flavors and textures of the Forum.

Aerial view of the Forum. Hundreds of booths, thousands of spectators.

Aerial view of the Forum. Hundreds of booths, thousands of spectators.

If you’ve been following us on Facebook or Twitter (#bocamiñotasteit, #forumtasteit) then you’ve had a chance to see some of the pictures I’m including in this post. Here’s one of my favorites action shots of the stand:

That man in the white shirt? His name is Jesús and he gave us ALL THE HAM. No joke, I'm now going through ham withdrawal.

That man in the white shirt? His name is Jesús and he gave us ALL THE HAM. No joke, I’m now going through ham withdrawal.

If not, go take a look and get caught up for our next post, when I try, and in all likelihood fail, to capture just how overwhelming, exhilarating, fascinating and above all, delectably delicious our time at the Forum was.

For now, I leave you with this refreshing image. Nothing better than a crisp, refreshing glass of Galician Albariño, amirite? (Yes, yes I am).

A very special thank you to Andrés Docampo Fotógrafo for his participation and the fantastic photographs that helped to make Bo Camiño TASTE IT! booth a success at the  Fórum Gastronómic Caruña ’14 Event.

Photography: Andrés Docampo Fotógrafo

http://andresdocampo.com

I literally can't even tell you how many wines we tasted. Best event ever!

I literally can’t even tell you how many wines we tasted. Best event ever!