Our Grandmas

Jordi Bages-Querol

“Extroverted, profoundly Mediterranean.”

Born in Vila de Gracia, a small town absorbed by Barcelona and today one of its neighborhoods with the most personality, I fostered a love for “la cocina” (the kitchen) from a very young age in the stoves of the house watching my mom cook, and my father on holidays.

The cooking is always familiar, that which they learned from their mothers, my grandmothers, the dishes were popular and wise by nature, only ever made with seasonal products from the earth. Respectful of the ingredients, the cook, and those who will eat. Today what is called traditional cuisine and was really popular cuisine is particular to every household.

My yuppie years took me to live outside of Catalonia, to travel to many countries and different continents, always open to the cuisine of the countries that I visited – if you want to know another culture, get to know their food – discovering new dishes and flavors and new ways of understanding the ancient art of cooking. Finally, my longing and nostalgia made me return home. Yearning for my family, my friends, and the kitchen.

Because our cuisine, the one that is still practiced today in some homes and fewer restaurants in Catalonia, is a product of knowledge. The art of Catalonian cuisine is exquisite, but difficult to practice with the rush of everyday tasks that characterize society. I am an unapologetic lover of two of the biggest contributions of Catalonian cuisine to the world: the sofregit – the base of innumerable dishes – and the picada. 

If you ask me what my definition of happiness is, I would tell you that it is the culture of the table. My father used that definition to describe those days dedicated to the pleasure of family reunions and friendly get-togethers, where we go all together to the maret, cook different dishes, eat and enjoy, and then afterwards enjoy lengthy table-talk, where we talk about everything and nothing at all.

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