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22 Jun 2012 0 comments Lídia Penelo

Boris Izaguirre: “El Paseo de Gracia is like an asphalt extension of the Mediterranean Sea”

Boris Izaguirre (Caracas, 1965), combines his collaborations in various media with writing. Barcelona is one of his favorite cities, and know it through their eyes is an experience full of luxury.

Luxury plays an important role in your last novel “Two monsters together”. You have lived in Barcelona and know the city very well. Can you say that Barcelona is a good place to find exclusive products and luxury?

Of course. You can always go to Santa Eulalia store, for example, and find the best of the best brands and at the same time be enthralled by its architecture and exquisitely decorated spaces. Hands down, Santa Eulalia is the best shop in Spain. And without a doubt, Barcelona is one of the most important gastronomic centers. Not only in Spain but also throughout the whole Mediterranean.  It has variety and is suitable for all sorts of budgets. I’m a hard-core fan of any of the restaurants the Tragaluz Group has scattered around town. But I’m also a big fan of the great Via Veneto, a classic.  Moments, the restaurant owned by chef Carme Ruscalleda in the Mandarin Hotel, is a temple. Her son Raúl runs it with such talent and distinction.

How would you describe the street of Paseo de Gracia to someone who isn’t familiar with the city?

I’d say it is like an asphalt extension of the Mediterranean Sea that crawls into the city, a landmark for modernism, and full of very attractive men and women any day of the year.

 What interests you about a city like Barcelona?

That it always has two lives. Everything is doubled. You have the sea and the mountains at your fingertips. There is the Barcelona above the Diagonal and the Barcelona below it. The Barcelona that thrives at night and the one that shines during the day. The cultured and the wicked. The harbor, the streets.

Why do you think Barcelona is a favorite gay destination?

Wow, never thought about that. Maybe it is due to the penetrating gaze of Catalan men? They look at you and it’s like being pierced. I truly believe that Picasso learned to look that way when he lived in Barcelona.

Food is also very present in your book “Two monsters together.” What attracts you from the culinary world?

That it is like a theater. Often, chefs remind me of great theater actors like Vittorio Gassman, celebrities with an intellectual aftertaste who seemed surrounded by an aura. Alfredo, the cook of “Two Monsters Together,” is an artist who fears selling out and sacrifice his talent. A situation in which many great chefs I know find themselves in, I think.

What dishes of Catalan cuisine are among your favorites?

Several. The home-made cannelloni they prepare at the house of Carmen Balcells. The esqueixada de bacallà (a kind of shredded cod), the white sausage prepared like they do at Elisenda Nadal’s. Oh, and the tapas and those little fish they serve at restaurant Cal Pep.

Many restaurants in Catalonia are awarded with Michelin stars. Do you recommend any of them?

Neichel, Moo, Dos Cielos and especially, Gaix, because they are a loving family.

If you want to enjoy some time off, where it would be easier to find you in a rural hotel or in a good hotel in the city?

Always in a city hotel. And if it has a good pool, much better.

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