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The Boqueria Stall Project


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Although there have been several times when we seriously doubted that we would make it, after a year of comings and goings we can finally write: we’ve got a stall at La Boquería market in Barcelona!! Let me write it again: we’ve got a stall at La Boqueria!!

‘We’ consists of 4 partners, including Silly Disciple, Oriol –blogger from buenoparacomer—and Juan, an experienced cook. A year ago, an opportunity presented itself to get ahold of a stall selling fruits and vegetables and break into the quite closed circle of Boquería owners. Our project, transforming it to a fresh, seasonal, artisanal made pasta. Looking at it with some perspective, it’s probably safe to say that installing a nuclear power plant in the Sagrada Familia it’s easier than changing what you can sell in a stall in the market, but with some luck and some help, we made it.

We’ve worked during these months to develop some recipes and fillings and we’re eager to see how people react. We plan to document our progress in this thread, so more on fillings, ingredientes, sauces and pasta later. In the meanwhile, here are some photos:

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The Boquería Market

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The stall before chaos in form of construction began

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Chaos and destruction

We'll keep this thread updated. Questions, ideas, suggestions are welcome.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Wow, this is very cool, indeed. What part of the market are you located in? It does not appear that you will be open for some time. Any idea when? I wish it was open when I was there earlier this month as my wife and I popped into Barcelona solely to visit the Boqueria.

Please give us more details about what you will be selling and how it will be made.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Enhorabuena to all! Banging my head against impossible bureaucracy and hermetically-sealed Spanish institutions is one of my primary pastimes, so I can truly appreciate this aspect of your trials and travails. I'm already looking forward to stopping by next time I'm in Barcelona.

Any plans to do something similar in Madrid? Or sell some of these goodies here?

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Thanks guys for all your comments and encouragement.

What part of the market are you located in?

We are located close to the back of the market, towards your left as you go in. As a reference, we are pretty close to Petras (the mushroom stall) and next to a small Korean stall.

It does not appear that you will be open for some time. Any idea when? I wish it was open when I was there earlier this month as my wife and I popped into Barcelona solely to visit the Boqueria.

If all goes well we are hoping to open in about three weeks time, so mid to late June. Fingers crossed...

Please give us more details about what you will be selling and how it will be made.

Our initial offer will consist of approximately 8 types of seasonal stuffed pasta (which will rotate during the week), 5 types of extruded pasta (spagetti, tagliatelli, etc), cannelloni and an array of sauces to go with them. The stuffed pasta types are grouped in mainly four families:

1. seasonal vegetables,

2. red meat,

3. chicken and other birds,

4. cheese.

I promise to post the initial menu once we finalize it.

You will be able to buy the pasta raw so you can take it home and cook it, and you'll also be able to get a combo menu during lunch time, a pasta-in-a-bowl kind of thing, to take away and enjoy while you stroll through the market.

We will also be selling our product to local restaurants and hotels.

All the pasta will be made in-house with seasonal ingredients bought within the market, so the stuffings will change as the market offer changes.

Any plans to do something similar in Madrid? Or sell some of these goodies here?

We've had enough headaches with this one, please give us some time to recover!

As for selling the product in Madrid: Since one of the product's main features is it's freshness, we've been working on figuring out the best way to ship to other parts of Spain without loosing this important characteristic. Once production is in full motion and we feel the extra work justifies it, we will start shipping elsewhere. We also still need to figure out what the best distribution model is.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Hey, I'm really looking forward to getting some of your pasta! Drop us a line when you open, as I don't want to miss that!

Mar

By the way, whereas I'm linking this thread from my blog, is there somewhere where non English-speaking people could follow on the developments? If you are not already doing this from your respective blogs, would you mind if I asked you a few questions to write something longer (as I really think it would make a very interesting story to follow)?

(EDITED FOR REALLY EMBARRASSING TYPOS!)

Edited by Mar Calpena (log)

Middlebrow Catalan gastronomy??????

http://baixagastronomia.blogspot.com/

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Thanks again to everyone for the support. To the locals, I will let you know as soon as we open so you can stop by and taste the pasta.

Tell us how you'll set up your kitchen space, if you please. Are you piping in a boiling water line? Or...?

The kitchen space was a bit of a challenge, as we didn't have a lot of room to setup shop. Basically, the stall is divided in two; the kitchen/production space in the back and the stall proper in the front.

In the back we have a walk-in, a combi oven, two induction tops, a pasta cooker, a bain marie, two circulator baths, a vacuum machine and not much else. Since installing gas services in the market is a bit of a problem we went electric with all the equipment.

In the front we have the pasta making machine in a small production area protected by a big see-through glass, so you'll see how the pasta is made as you walk by. We also have a high power freezer and a small fridge.

By the way, whereas I'm linking this thread from my blog, is there somewhere where non English-speaking people could follow on the developments? If you are not already doing this from your respective blogs, would you mind if I asked you a few questions to write something longer (as I really think it would make a very interesting story to follow)?

Mar, thanks for the post. Oriol , who is also a blogger will setup a blog, in Spanish I think. I'll put the two of you in touch so you can figure something out for a Catalan version.

Will you be opening in the afternoons? That's the only time I can get to the Boqueria unfortunately.

We will open in the mornings through about 4pm for sure. Afternoons/evenings are a big question mark, as we are not sure yet if it is cost effective to stay open till dinner. Very few stalls do during the week. I think that we will probably open late Fridays and Saturdays. In any case I'm sure we can convince you to drop by on a Saturday, right?

Later on today I have to meet the builder so we can decide on the colors for the stall. Will keep you posted.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Construction work, two days later:

IMG_4330.JPG

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Progress has been made. They've closed the second front door which we won't use. They've made the hole to move the door between the kitchen and the shop. The shop's floor is done. The pictures also show how they removed the old surface since we're replacing it. I'm moderately happy about how the work is going, I guess.

Also, hopefully we should have the main machine from Italy next week.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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More construction going on. The builders are moving rather quickly, I think (what do I know, really). We should have the extruder/pasta cutter we bought from Italy within the next 5 to 7 days, and the builders have assured me they will be ready to receive it, so I guess we should see a lot of improvement in the next few days. We've also setup a site/blog here: Pasta Fresca Pazzta920, which follows the whole thing in Spanish (and Catalan too, soon).

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Note in the picture above how they've already put in the the fake ceiling (in wood). They should be putting the new tiles today, so maybe I'll have some pictures of that tonight.

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The guy to the left in the picture below is Juan, one of our two remaining partners, who is the cook behind the production and will be manning the stall on a daily basis.

IMG_4352.JPG

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Hey SD, this is a fantastic idea! And I'm really looking forward to following your progress. I plan to be in Barcelona in October, a pretty good time for mushroom dishes. I can't wait. Do you plan to do ravioli?

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IMG_4406.JPG

We have an extruder now. It's a little beauty. Well, not exactly little. It's more like a beatiful mammoth.

Yesterday, around 5pm, the delivery company showed up with a 2m x 1.5m x 1.5m box (I kid you not), 600kg, and pretty much left it in front of the stall for us to place it in.

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We unpacked it, knowing that we had bought a slightly smaller mammoth.

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we had to remove one of the stall's front surfaces to make it fit, and with some help in the end the machine was in.

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Next week a technician is coming from Italy to do the final assemply and show us how to operate it.

Chris: Unfortunately I don't have a good diagram in digital format to show, but hopefully in a few days I will have pictures of the finished stall and will be able to explain it better.

Corinna: yes, we will do ravioli and other stuffed pasta, as well as extruded pasta (spagetti, penne and the like), tagliatelle and also lasagna sheets. We will also offer fresh sauces, pasta salads and cold soups during the summer and a few desserts to match.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Are things still pretty much on schedule? At this point when do you expect to open?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Are things still pretty much on schedule? At this point when do you expect to open?

Since this project started about 16 months ago and we were hoping to open last summer, "on schedule" is a term we stopped using a long time ago :biggrin:.

But in general terms, yes, we are happy with the progress and hope to open in about three weeks time, by the end of June.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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That's correct, Chris, there's a small but well equipped kitchen in the stall where all the production will be done.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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I've been in monday about 13:00 but it was closed, I hope you could open soon  :biggrin:

pepe, I'm sorry to say that the stall is closed not just this past Monday but all Mondays, same as most of the market, and same for Sundays.

We may eventually open on Mondays just for the lunch hours, depending on whether demand justifies it.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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I've been in monday about 13:00 but it was closed, I hope you could open soon  :biggrin:

pepe, I'm sorry to say that the stall is closed not just this past Monday but all Mondays, same as most of the market, and same for Sundays.

We may eventually open on Mondays just for the lunch hours, depending on whether demand justifies it.

Passed by last saturday, but it was closed, if I've spotted it correctly, close to Fruits del Bosc, no? Boqueria was bursting with people, so I bought some percebes and went to visit a new bakery nearby, Reikjavik-Barcelona or a name like this, nice place. Had lunch at Vila Viniteca's sotano with the always generous Quim Vila, a table full of delicious seafood cans and some jamon and cheese from upstairs and a wine (a wonderful Manzanilla whose name I can't remember, it was a intense trip to Austria before and I reached Barcelona with all my neurones off).

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