Ibérico ham, wine, cava, canned products, cheese, and extra virgin olive oil where the main products showcased, and they were warmly received
The first edition of the Spain Fusion conference recently came to a close in Texas. Organized jointly by Vocento Gastronomía and ICEX-Foods and Wines from Spain, this very special event sought to promote and raise awareness about Spanish food in the US and strengthen its position there. It was held from November 7th to the 11th in the state’s biggest cities: Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.
According to a representative from Vocento Gastronomía, “This is the first conference we’ve organized in the US, but it’s not the last one. Spain and Texas are very different but we share a common past. Now we want to start a new chapter together.” The conference was geared towards importers, distributors, chefs, local hospitality entrepreneurs, and other industry professionals.
Spanish products in the spotlight
Spanish olive oil was particularly popular at the conference, and an expert in EVOO offered informational sessions to help familiarize people with its exceptional properties and versatility. Vinegar, cheese, wine, cava, canned products, and Ibérico ham were the other star products that truly impressed attendees.
A wide range of activities
Each city hosted two main events as part of Spain Fusion. The first was a trade fair, where Spanish companies were able to showcase their gourmet products and offer tastings, demonstrations, and talks with experts.
Matthew Lightner highlighted the characteristics of Spanish tinned foods, and María Jiménez Latorre talked about olive oils. Alfonso Fernández shared his expertise on sherry vinegars and cheeses and Varin Keokitvon informed the crowds about Ibérico ham. Master of Wine Fernando Mora was responsible for the wine and cava presentations and their corresponding tastings.
The second event was a series of dinners at James Beard recognized restaurants, where local chefs interpreted Spanish dishes and used ingredients from Spain. The chefs worked in tandem with, Periko Ortega, who runs ReComiendo restaurant in Córdoba. Previously, Ortega trained with Kisko García at Choco, also in Córdoba.
The dinner in Dallas was hosted at Roots Southern Table restaurant, where chef Tiffany Derry prepared a wonderful meal. The dinner in San Antonio was held at Cured, where chef Steve McHugh impressed attendees with his meal, and the dinner in Austin was at El Naranjo, where the Torrealba de la Vega family offered a fantastic Spanish meal.
Visibility for Restaurants from Spain
Spain Fusion was also the perfect place to give visibility to restaurants that have been certified with The Restaurants from Spain seal. This seal seeks to recognize restaurants with high standards that use authentic ingredients, especially those with PDO, PGI and DO status. These restaurants’ ambience also conveys a feeling of Spain. There are currently 29 restaurants in the US with the seal, and they are certified by Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Spanish Wine Federation.