Between 21 January and 5 February, Madrid turns into a great festival for the senses as the eighth Gastrofestival gets underway. The festival is the best way to find out more about gastronomy and enjoy its connections with a range of artistic disciplines. This year the programme is packed with appetising new features.
For fifteen days restaurants, shops, museums and cultural centres in Madrid will be taking part in this fantastic event in which art plays a leading role. A complete experience, a great festival for the senses inviting everyone to enjoy all aspects of gastronomy. Special menus, culinary routes and cookery courses all share space on a programme with the tempting leitmotiv of Madrid, good enough to eat.
The 2017 festival kicks off in the best possible way, with restaurants and bars across the city taking part in some of the now favourite sections, including the Degustatapas tapas tastings, Rioja Wine in Our Favourite Bars and Dinner Four Hands by Mastercard Priceless Cities, an event that brings top international figures from some of today's most renowned kitchens to Madrid as guest master chefs.
These eagerly awaited dinners are part of the Gastronomic Madrid section, one of the six main themes the festival is structured around. The other five are Gastroculture, Sensory Experiences, Gastrofashion, Wine Culture and Gastrohealth. For the first time, Gastrofestival will be featuring restaurants serving special gluten-free menus for people with celiac disease, just like many others spread across the city.
Conde Duque cultural centre, the main venue for Gastrofestival 2017, promises to be a constant hive of activity. Events being held here include Sensory Experiences to suit everyone and a Socratic Tasting (on 26 and 27 January) in which participants will be able to decode the secrets locked away in various wines by following a very distinctive method that stimulates collaborative thought.
As part of the same sensory programme you can enjoy The aperitif culture (on 28 January), with tastings of several kinds of vermouth and live music from manouche jazz group Baxtalo Drom. But this won't be the only soundtrack at Conde Duque: on 1 February the now customary Gastrotonadilla (18th century musical accompaniment) will be taking place and on 2 and 3 February there's Zanfona, Cheese & Tea, or in other words, a tasting event featuring Spanish artisan cheeses and white, green, oolong and black teas to the sound of the mechanical violin played by Germán Díaz.
Conde Duque is also hosting a section expected to be especially popular with film buffs, Gastronomy in Film, with a screening on 31 January of the Spanish versions of Alice's Restaurant and Like Water for Chocolate, followed on 1 February by Dinner at Eight and Sweet Bean.
This year, from 24 January to 4 February, the Madrid Municipal Newspaper Archive, also based in Conde Duque, will be holding an exhibition entitled The Newspaper Archive Lays the Table, with a series of panels showing delicious recipes from Spanish-speaking magazine Pictorial Review, as well as tips on home linens and features on cooking and dining-room elegance from a past era, namely New York back in 1916.
As usual, many of Madrid's museums will be opening their doors to Gastrofestival with a long list of activities and guided tours based on some of the works from their respective collections. On 21 January and 5 February, the Museum of Contemporary Art will be hosting a talk on the culinary likes and dislikes of Ramón Gómez de la Serna, with aperitif included. The museum is also organising an illustration competition on the topic of gastronomic one-liners.
Plus, from 18 January to 5 February, the Garment Museum will be presenting the exhibition Fashionable vegetables. Designs from the Calahorra City of Vegetables Catwalk. The exhibition comprises 15 outfits made with vegetables grown in Rioja and reproducing iconic designs by international artists like Alexander McQueen, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, Elie Saab and Madeleine Vionnet.
This year, Madrid's markets will be playing a very active role in Gastrofestival, with classes and talks, tastings and other adventurous events. In Mercado de Antón Martín, adults will be paying close attention to an original cookery workshop.