Born in a kingdom of wine bottles and cellars, but precluded from joining her father and brother Miguel in their summer trips to the vineyards and winery in Penedès, Marimar Torres found in her home’s kitchen a fascinating space to dream in the company of the family cook who ignited in the young girl an early curiosity and fervor for Spanish cuisine. She further developed this enthusiasm as she began traveling the world marketing the wines of family-owned Bodegas Torres, which made her gastronomic horizons expand.
Her marriage to an American settled her in California, where she recaptured her food reminiscences to entertain friends at home with traditional flavors from Catalonia. In the exercise, though, she realized that her memories were not specific enough to render recipes as good as they should so she determined to take advantage of every subsequent trip to Spain to acquire technique and accuracy in her recreation of traditional Catalan flavors.
All this wisdom was poured on The Catalan Country Kitchen, a recipe book published in 1995 which some consider an indispensable reference of Spanish food in America. The book assembles a collection of recipes from the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean Coast, with recommendations on Catalan menus for every occasion from tapas to informal dinners to summer lunches, seasoned with personal anecdotes and wine pairing options. The recipes exhibit nuances of rustic cuisine and home cooking that integrate traditional cuisine with new tastes sourced from land and sea flavors, foundation of Catalan cuisine.
In spite of her divorce, Marimar Torres determined to remain in California where in the mid 1980s she also fulfilled her other infancy wish: making wine. Proud to produce wines that pair well with food, she wrote another book The Spanish Table: the Cuisine and Wines from Spain.
At her Marimar Estate winery in Sonoma, food and wine are a big celebration, and guest entertaining is still a passion where the flavors from Spain shine daily.