|A first taste of Degustapas at the presentation this morning.|
This morning I attended the official presentation of this year's edition of Gastrofestival at the Museo Thyssen. In its third year, this citywide event is an offshoot of the marvelous annual gastronomic conference Madrid Fusion, which kicks off tomorrow. While the three days of conferences that make up Madrid Fusion are mainly directed towards chefs, restaurant professionals and intense foodies, Gastrofestival was conceived of as a way of involving the rest of the city's citizens and tourists in this yearly celebration of gastronomic culture and all things edible.
Establishments all over the city will be participating in the many different facets of this festival. Degustapas, consists of dozens of bars and taverns that will be serving up a special tapa and a small bottle of Mahou beer for 3 Euros. Additionally, a long list of restaurants will be offering special menus priced at 25 or 40 Euros. However, my absolute favorite initiative (which admittedly I have yet to try) is called Cena con Las Estrellas (dinner with the stars), during which several of the visiting international chefs from Madrid Fusion are paired up with restaurants in Madrid, where they prepare their special (75 Euro) menus for only a day or two.
Of course in addition to all of these opportunities to eat eat eat, the festival also provides Madrileños with plenty of culture culture culture. Held from January 23rd - February 5th, Gastrofestival extends beyond the restaurant scene and into gastronomically-themed expositions in museums and art galleries; special offers, courses and lectures in specialty shops and cooking schools; and even a food-themed film series at the Filmoteca Nacional.
Needless to say, this is the perfect opportunity for me to shamelessly plug the participating exhibition in my mother-in-law's art gallery, Pelayo47, by José Manuel Nuevo entitled Cosas del Comer.