EXPERIENCE FOODIE BARCELONA

Hi! I’m Sarah Stothart. I grew up in Sydney, Australia in a family of artists whose lives revolved around a shared love of food. We grew our own produce and all cooked together, poring over my mum’s precious cookbook collection to recreate recipes from around the world. My father always finished one meal asking what we would eat next.

When I was 10 years old, we moved to a tiny Greek island. From there we moved to rural France and then Italy, where we lived in gastronomic heaven above a mortadella factory. My memories of all these places are of the food – catching octopus and cooking it on the barbecue in the baking Greek sunshine, getting lost in bustling French food markets full of mysterious and wonderful things I had never seen, and savouring every new flavour in the exquisite Parisian restaurants.

While I originally worked as a graphic designer and illustrator, I was always drawn back to cooking. I managed a restaurant for a summer, grabbed food-related work experience whenever I could and even did a stint as private chef. And every time I immersed myself in the world of food, I realized this was my true calling.

” I’d go around all the tables and tell them what I was serving.
People often said they felt like they were eating in a friend’s kitchen. ”

In 2005 I opened Tapioles 53 in an old umbrella factory in Barcelona. It was me, a sous chef and one waiter in a tiny space. I loved every minute of it. Every morning I would visit my neighbourhood market and decide what looked best for dinner that night. I cooked all my old family favourites plus new recipes I’d picked up in my travels. We only seated 24 people and the tiny kitchen was completely open, so it felt more like having a dinner party than running a restaurant. I met so many amazing people. We never had a menu, I’d go around all the tables and tell them what I was serving. People often said they felt like they were eating in a friend’s kitchen. Three months in, the New York Times reviewed me. “It has no name or menu, just an address… Call for reservations and head to the green door.”

The story got picked up by the Boston Globe, Wallpaper and the like. Tapioles 53 was booked solid. It was here that I met my husband, a Spaniard from Galicia (for whom no fish is ever as good as that from his home town). We had our first child in 2008 and then pregnant with my second I took the decision to step out of a restaurant kitchen for a time.

But never a kitchen. I never stopped consulting for restaurants, hosting cooking classes and tours and collecting and experimenting with recipes from around the world.

I now concentrate on food tours as I love sharing my passion for cooking and all things food related. My tours usually start at the Santa Caterina market where the same stall holders who helped make Tapioles 53 stand out from the crowd still help me find the best of Barcelona’s produce.

Sarah Stothart. Barcelona Food Sherpa

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