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January 16th, 2013

on assignment


There is pleasure in being sent on assignment to a place far from home, a new city with new places to discover and people to meet. But there is pleasure, too, on being on assignment in your own city — in my case, Barcelona. This (cold) morning shooting in a favorite bar. January 16th, 2012. © Jeff Koehler

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September 23rd, 2012



Are there any finer shellfish than navajas (razor clams)? Not in my opinion. South of Barcelona. September 23, 2012. © Jeff Koehler.

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June 23rd, 2012

Sant Joan


Celebrating this nit de foc (night of fire) with cava and traditional coca de llardons… a flaky puff pastry flat bread with sugar, pine nuts and crunchy fried pork skin.

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June 19th, 2009

Back in the kitchen

It doesn’t take long – a few days sometimes, a week at most – when I begin craving what I had been eating on a recent trip. From in and around Marrakech last week it was a simple finger “salad” of Moroccan Carrots with Cumin that I first begin to desire back in Barcelona.

For dinner the other night I cut the carrots into rounds, blanched them, and then began tinkering with the spices and oil and lemon juice to get that (in my mouth) just-right tang of cumin of the ones I ate at La Maison Arabe with retaining an underlying sweetness like the ones from Amanjena.

The came out well, though the next day, properly chilled, there were even better – and closer to the taste I had been aiming. I ate them for lunch as a lead into to a bowl of (equally chilled) gazpacho. Perfect for the warm summer day but also my mood.

I am making them again in a few days’ time to take to a dinner we’re attending, and will continue to hone the recipe. Then, perhaps, I will post it here.

In the meantime, a lamb tajine with caramelized onions from Terres d’Amanar, in the western flanks of the High Atlas, is the second craving. I’ve drafted out the recipe and am off to the market. It’ll be tomorrow’s lunch.

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February 25th, 2009

On the table: Ash Wednesday means Coca de sardines


Catalans celebrate Dimecres de Cendra (Ash Wednesday) by eating coca (flatbread) topped with roasted vegetables and sardines. Barcelona. February 25, February 2009 © Jeff Koehler.

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November 28th, 2008

morning at Bar Mut

The day often begins like this: I drop Alba and Maia at school and then head to a café. Today I am in Bar Mut, my favorite bar in the city. The day is especially cold and I am sitting beside the wide window in a heavy sweater. I’ve eaten a thick, moist wedge of tortilla de patatas (without question the best in Barcelona) and am lingering over a café con leche as I begin the day’s work. The first galleys of Rice Pasta Couscous have come, been marked up, and FedExed back to Chronicle Books, the flap copy rewritten, and the Acknowledgments drafted out (the book is due out next next year). I have turned my attention to the proposal for the new book and hope to get it out to my agent today. Details on that project soon.

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All text and images are ©Jeff Koehler 2007-2009 and cannot be used without his written permission.