ORÍGENES: SPAIN’S FIRST REGENERATIVE GASTRONOMIC FESTIVAL
OríGenes Festival Gastronómico celebrated its second edition this weekend, with the objective of promoting sustainability in all areas of gastronomy.
It took the objective seriously, choosing all of the festival’s collaborators following criteria of sustainable ethics. For example, Le Nouveau Chef provided sustainably-designed chef jackets, and Klimer supplied 100% compostable cutlery this year. What’s more, solutions were executed to convert all of the festival’s organic waste into fertilizer on site with a WasteMaster from EWM Soluciones; in addition, festival-goers could take that fertilizer, along with a packet of seeds of their choice, home for gardening. That’s all well and good, and you might even say it’s going above and beyond to achieve sustainability, but oríGenes wanted to take it a step further. Its aim was to be the first gastronomic festival to offset its carbon footprint. To achieve this, the festival monitored its ecological impact through a Carbon Footprint report from CREAST consultancy and, based on that report, will counterbalance the footprint by planting indigenous trees on the festival grounds.
This innovative festival wants to become a benchmark, both for professionals in the sector and for food lovers, as a pioneering gastronomic event format designed to approach gastronomy from proximity, sustainability, and awareness. After another successful edition, and adding on a Madrid version, it looks like it’s well on its way to achieving its goal.
A COMPLETE GASTRONOMIC EXPERIENCE
From the get-go, oríGenes proposes a sustainable gastronomic journey around Spain, through the best local gastronomic artisanships, that serves to connect us to the past and, from there, allows us to reimagine the future.
Just like the first edition last year, this 2022 installment was packed full of talent and passion, both of which were in evidence on each carefully crafted plate. As you pass from one stand to the next, collecting stamps in your oríGenes passport, you’ll have a tough time deciding which one was your favorite by the time you’ve finished.
For the duration of one of the two eight-hour days, immersed in the middle of nature at the breathtaking Palauet de Teià, attendees get the chance to meet 10 artisan producers who are more than eager to explain the history of their products, cook their exclusively-designed dishes, all of which are paired with a selection of wine from Quim Vila of Vila Viniteca and special beers from Cervezas Alhambra, and share their passion for food; Vermut Petroni was also on hand to serve up vermouths and cocktails. As you pass from one stand to the next, collecting stamps in your oríGenes passport, you’ll have a tough time deciding which one was your favorite by the time you’ve finished.
Not only do you get incredible food and drink, those in attendance get to enjoy live music, talks by leaders in gastronomy and sustainability, as well as workshops by innovative professionals; this year’s edition featured open classes all focused on fermentations, from kombucha (Mucha Kombucha) to chocolate and coffee infusions (SlowMov Coffee), sourdough breads (Triticum) and also mead. The one-on-one attention from experts in their respective fields is a unique, fulfilling experience that’s simply not to be missed.
THIS YEAR’S PROTAGONISTS
- Xesc Reina (Can Company, Mallorca): one of the main sobrassada artisans in the country; sobrassada is a dry meat similar to chorizo; served a delicious ensaimada with chocolate sobrassada along with a selection of sobrasadas and sausages.
- Manu Yebras (Josper, Catalonia): COO of Josper, which has become a world leader and can be found in more than 125 countries; he and his team prepared Wagyu meat, Canary Island sea bass and Maresme vegetables in his Josper ovens; his experience as a festival attendee last year is what convinced him to participate as a protagonist this year.
- Eduardo Sousa (La Patería de Sousa, Extremadura): makes foie gras with a certificate of ethical production; his artisanal technique to make a product that respects animals has made waves the world; served his ethical foie gras “micuit” and 100% Bellota goose ham.
- Clara Diez (Fromaje, Madrid): one of the outstanding young talents in gastronomy today; she served a selection of artisanal cheeses.
- Curro Ulzurrun (Cobardes y Gallinas, Castilla y León): raises native and endangered chickens to obtain top quality organic eggs that are consumed at Michelin-star restaurants; served fried eggs with truffle.
- Carlos Piernas, (Carpier, Catalonia): the 2022 Ambassador of Honor and repeated as a protagonist this year; presented his new product of smoked preserves he’s been researching for more than three years; served three different preparations of salmon.
- Javier González (Ternura, Galicia): master of the traditional Galician empanada; served five different mouth-watering versions of them.
- Hervé Corvitto (Gelats Angelo, Girona): widely recognized in the sector for his innovative ice cream flavors; served three different flavors at the festival, including a sea urchin ice cream with prawn coulis.
- Daniel Álvarez (Dalúa, Valencia): well-decorated, master pastry chef who specializes in the art of making puff pastry; served his incredible cream millefeuille with inverted puff pastry.
- Xevi Ramón (Triticum, Catalonia): a master bread maker whose bakery specializes in providing the best bread to the hospitality, restaurant, hotel and catering sector; provided his artisanal breads that accompanied the entire festival menu.
As mentioned earlier, each of these ten culinary artists brought their incredible products and dishes along with their palpable passion, which helped attendees feel well taken care of along this memorable gastronomic trip. Their energy and eagerness was contagious, and truly made the experience worth it.
FEEL, DISCOVER, CREATE
OríGenes wanted those in attendance to “feel” the gastronomy, thanks to the proximity and conversation with its producers, allowing them to “discover” new products and talents and, thus, “create” a better and more sustainable future for gastronomy. It seems clear that they accomplished exactly that.
Hopefully this summary of the 2022 edition serves to encourage you to attend next year’s festival. We realize that the 195€ ticket price seems pretty steep, but, if you think about the range and quality of the food you get, along with the face-to-face with Spain’s top food artisans and producers, and then add on the unlimited drinks, live music, free workshops, talks, and simply the oasis-like setting its housed at, oríGenes more than takes care of you in order to ensure that those almost-200 euros were exceedingly well spent.
Until next time, cheers!
Photos by ISABEL TROYA
By EMILY BENSON
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