This year, in addition to my usual food and music pairings, I’ll be posting photos and videos that help inform or enhance the feel.
The first is a documentary by Tao Ruspoli. The man you see cooking in the video is Juan Del Gastor. When I was first learning Flamenco guitar, I also met Juan at a Flamenco party in New York. He comes from a long line of Flamenco Gypsys that includes gods like his uncle Diego Del Gastor. When he invited me to take lessons with him in Sevilla, I got there quickly. While hanging out in his apartment every day, I got some cooking lessons similar to the hilarious ones the film maker is receiving in the video. He has a very rough style of cooking. As I recall, we were making soup one day and he boomed at me, “Sin Pelar!!”, basically meaning, “Stop peeling the vegetables you fool! Throw them in whole!”
The second video is about Flamenco in the coastal Andalusian town of Jerez; it specifically highlights the Morao family. Sadly, Flamenco guitar great Moraito, who shows up early in the video, passed away a few years ago. This opening scene shows him eating Pan Con Tomate, (a Spanish staple consisting of crusty bread, smashed tomato pulp, garlic, salt and olive oil), as it is often eaten, at a neighborhood Tapas bar over coffee and the newspaper.