Pau Arenós: “You can’t get used to caviar, because that’s not reality”

The gastronomic chronicles of Pau Arenós very rarely end with a comment on desserts or coffees, that would be too boring and predictable. This journalist born in Vila-real with more than 35 years of experience prefers transcend recipes and tell us a story. His main objective when preparing a piece, his true obsession, is to catch the readers from the first sentence and keep them going until the end. Let them scrap the article. Arenós explained this, his way of understanding culinary chronicles, in his first Face to Face with the community of EL PERIÓDICO readers held this Wednesday at the Moritz factory in Barcelona (Round of Sant Antoni, 41).

Every week, and for 15 years, the writer, also a writer, prepares and serves weekly juicy restaurant chronicles that combine gastronomy and literature, sometimes seasoned with history. Always looking for that right point between erudition and entertainment, rigor and disinhibition. It is about publishing useful texts and recommending establishments that are worthwhile, but also about taking maximum care of the ways to offer “the pleasure of pure reading & rdquor ;. This can be a lot of work before and after the visit to the establishment in question, Many hours of reading and research. And it is that, as the director said Albert Saez in its presentation, the one from Vila-Real is “a scholar of gastronomy & rdquor ;.

The journalist, winner of the National Prize for Gastronomy and author of a dozen “edible books”, as he usually says, he took advantage of the appointment with the community of readers to demystify your profession and to dismantle the stereotype of the know-it-all food critic. “You can’t get used to caviar, because that’s not reality,” he said. Now, for example, he is preparing a piece on the Chicken Tikka Masala, an Indian dish that is not without controversy because some (mainly British) maintain that it originates from… Scotland! “The challenge in this case is to make a masterful piece on Indian cuisine, on the cuisine of an entire subcontinent & rdquor ;, emphasized Arenós, who has been delving into this matter for days to delight us soon with a serious and at the same time entertaining article, which flees of the usual molds.

Arenós clarified in the tank room of the Catalan brewery that he does not do gastronomic criticism, but chronicles with a critical vision. The difference may seem subtle, but that nuance is critical to him. He doesn’t want to sit down, he doesn’t want to put anyone on the spot. “I try to go to restaurants that are worthwhile,” he says, “and I only write something if the experience is 80% positive.” In other words, if you haven’t eaten well, it doesn’t make sense to dedicate a few lines to it. “I haven’t had any conflict with important chefs, only with some third or fourth division cook who did not understand anything of my chronicle. If there is something that does not convince me, I say it to the face, at the moment; my articles do not catch anyone by surprise & rdquor ;, he explained his readers this admirer of avant-garde cuisine who also knows how to appreciate the magic of a good traditional croquette, glorify reuse cuisine and can even dedicate a space on the web to the best potato chips. THE NEWSPAPER he directs, Cata Mayor, has room for everything.

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This declared ‘concebollista’ reads a lot, methodically prepares his texts, but also enjoy putting on the apron. Without a doubt, a hobby that helps him a lot when it comes to assessing the work (and the difficulty) that each dish hides. “I cook a lot and in September a new book will come out, ‘Kitchen at home’ (Ed. Debate), with recipes made by me. So real that I take the photos myself & rdquor ;, she advanced almost exclusively to those present at Face to Face.

‘Table for two’

The meeting at Moritz was the perfect moment -with Moritz beer, of course- to publicly present a series of videos and podcasts under the title ‘Table for two’ that kicks off this Sunday, June 19, in which our trusted culinary chronicler chats with four great chefs and a renowned oenologist about their lives, beyond the kitchens and cellars, in depth. Obesity, addictions and family relationships, she advanced, are some of the issues that are put on the table. The attendees took sure good note. “I like his style because he writes with respect, without drawing the ax & rdquor ;, one of the attendees said at the end of the meeting, Tony Mendoza, who considers Arenós more of a “specialist” than any ‘influencer’. “I love gastronomy and I have been following him for a long time, reading his articles. He has the best job in the world! & rdquor ;, assured another reader, Maria Paz Vicente, delighted with the experience of meeting, listening to, one of her main gastronomic journalists. “It has been very him & rdquor ;, he added.

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