This week’s episode takes place in one of my favorite cities: Barcelona. The architecture is beautiful, the people are friendly, and the food is outstanding. Where else do people stop what they’re doing at noon on Sundays, form a circle and dance the Sardana, a traditional Catalan dance, with total strangers? For me, Barcelona is definitely one of those places that could finish the sentence, “When I retire, I’m moving to…”
Like other famous Mediterranean cities, much of Barcelona’s cuisine is based on fresh fish. And, of course, you can’t call yourself a chef unless you know what you’re doing with fresh seafood. That gave Nookie, a born and bred Bostonian, an unfair advantage. It looked like his skills at butchering monkfish would lead the Black Team to victory in the Course but the Red Team won by collecting more squid ink. That gave them the right to the Exceptional Ingredient: gamba roja. Both teams were going to need all the ingenuity they could muster to impress one of Spain’s most famous chefs: José Andrès. José’s restaurants in the U.S. are a big reason tapas have become so popular on this side of the Atlantic.