TORONTO — Toronto’s food scensters were taken on a culinary journey to Spain at George Brown College’s Chef’s House this week, when Campo Viejo, the venerable Rioja-region winery, set up shop.
Far from simply arriving with a slew of Tempranillo-based vinos however, the group also brought Carles Abellán, chef and owner of Barcelona’s Michelin-starred Comerc24 and former Ferran Adrià protégé, to prepare a multi-course tasting menu to match the various incarnations of Rioja in the glass.
Abellán was joined by two of his own chefs, Arnau Muñio and Giovanni Esteve, and eight culinary students from George Brown’s Chef School who rounded out the kitchen brigade.Determined to make his first appearance in Canada a memorable one, Abellán matched Campo Viejo’s wines — the Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva and a Cava Rose — with some of the signature recipes that made him a household name in Spain. Standouts included sous-vide mackerel, served with citrus segments, olive oil and aromatic herbs as well as duck rice with a foie gras ganche and toasted corn kernels.
The iconic Spanish wines only added to the authenticity of the experience. “La Rioja is one of the most historic wine-producing regions in the world, home to dedicated winemakers who have long been expressing the culture and philosophy of Spain through their terroir-driven wines,” said Abellán of his local product.
“Campo Viejo is honoured to have Carles Abellán demonstrate how exceptionally well made, flavourful and food friendly our Rioja wines are,” added Emma Herlihy, brand director, Wines, Corby Distilleries Limited. “Having one of Spain’s most skilled and respected chefs create a special menu for our guests, which highlights the quality and diversity of our wines, is very exciting.”