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El diari barceloní ha dedicat una sèrie de 7 articles al restaurant . Pel seu interès en el seu conjunt els reproduïm aquí: El periódico barcelonés ha dedicado una serie de 7 artículos al restaurante Por su interés en su conjunto los reproducimos aquí: La Vanguardia 7 Portes La Vanguardia 7 Portes. The Barcelona newspaper has devoted a number 7 products to the restaurant . For your interest the whole is reproduced here: La Vanguardia 7 Portes

Restaurant 7 Portes in "La Vanguardia" neswpaper

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The Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia has devoted a number 7 products to the restaurant 7 Portes. For your interest the whole is reproduced here.

Text of Restaurant 7 Portes in "La Vanguardia" neswpaper

El diari barcelon La Vanguardia ha dedicat una srie de 7 articles al restaurant 7 Portes. Pel seu inters en el seu conjunt els reprodum aqu: El peridico barcelons La Vanguardia ha dedicado una serie de 7 artculos al restaurante 7 Portes. Por su inters en su conjunto los reproducimos aqu: The Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia has devoted a number 7 products to the restaurant 7 Portes. For your interest the whole is reproduced here:

SATURDAY, JULY 30, 2011

S U M M E R

L I V I N G

TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan

Seven days and seven nightsA couple celebrate their golden wedding anniversary at what had once been the favourite table of Picasso. They have eaten the same dishes of the day that were promised and the receptionist, Sandra Moreno, in the photo which accompanies this article, brings them the bill. The total comes to less than two Euros, the equivalent of what was paid a half a century ago. The couple is surprised and Sandra tells them that it is a gift on the house. The young receptionist transmits feelings, speaks 7 languages and is in charge of new technologies and in her social network has hundreds of friends she has made through the restaurant. The maestro pianist, Manuel Barea caressess the piano keys and evokes what the song says that he plays every night for the past thirty years. It doesn't matter what the future holds. As time passes, the moonlight and lovesongs never go out of style. Neither does the number 7 go out of style, which has been present since classic Greece, the Bible and in the Kabala, in Masonry and in the lottery. Mithical like the Set Portes, the place since 1836 in the most neoclassic and romantic square in the entire city without the gentrified Rambla nor the first train on the Iberian penninsula. Below the porches of Josep Xifr, the most richest man in Barcelona at that time. It is said that he was a mason, like his decorators and like Josep Cuys who

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175 years of history is celebrated. The restaurant Set Portes was and continues to be in all senses a reference point of the city of Barcelonainnaugurated the Set Portes Caf. It was the most luxurious, bourgeois and aristocratic caf and served its desserts to the Baroness of Turella who always asked for a discount. It is not known whether or not they were masons as it was forbidden, just as it was forbidden in 1831 in the cafs because it was considered to be caverns of vices, of sin and political conspiracy. It is not known who named the place. If it had been Xifr, Cuys or the columnist Joan Cortada, who signed his name as Aben Abulema and was called a Moro without being one. Some say that there were only three doors, others say five and others, nine. What is certain is that one

enters and leaves through one door, the same one that so many generations from Barcelona as well as foreigners have crossed. The large building was restored, but what has remained is the well, the wine cellar below a classic Catalan arch , the room where the present owner was born, the staircase where the chorus descended before it was a restaurant and much of the art that remains on the walls. Always under restoration, concludes Rafael Santos, the director. Just like Barcelona, always under construction, always in figures. More than 500 people dine here every day, 100,000 rice dishes per year... Purchasing Manager, Manuel Mart confirms this. We've been purchasing from the same bakery for the past 60 years, the meat and fish from the Boquera market from the very beginning, the shrimp from Palams, the wine is supplied by Quim Vila, who, as a youngster would bring us fresh vegetables on a trolly. Open every day of the year, at 1:00 pm the service team carry out the ritual of organizing the dining room. The waiters have changed with time, but their profile remains the same. The pianist repeats As Time Goes By. Just as the era has passed in which Carme Parellada, lady and the soul of the restaurant gave storybooks by Calleja to her clients as gifts that the grandchildren of her clients kept. This Saturday the seven days and seven nights at Set Portes, with its thousand and one myths and stories. Seven crullers just like Uncle Nelo made back in 1836 to make the wait a little sweeter.

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S U M M E R

L I V I N G

SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011

TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan

Seven muses at the tablesrom an accountant music lover that made a movie called the Fall of the Human Empire, you expect much more than the bill for the meal. Josep Maria Revs has been working in the Set Portes for almost half a century. In 1839 the first photo in Spain was taken there. He handled the digital screen and memorized the prices of the 40 different dishes on the menu: I've been here since the times when we used carbon paper. He started at the front counter preparing the charcuterie and called the clients when they were telephoned. The Set Portes was already a high level restaurant with rich people that began with an appetizer at lunchtime and made a long after lunch conversation until late afternoon. Much earlier than being a high level restaurant it was a caf theatre and the vedettes from that time still can be found in the posters that are hanging on the walls of the restaurant. At that time, the manager was Joan Biscamps that manufactured charcuterie and used to sell it as delicacies to his neighbors that lived in palaces. Following the inauguration of the Barcelona-Matar train station and La Llotja of Fine Arts, the Caf de La Llotja became the perifery of the exposition of 1888, with the Ciutadella Park as its epicenter. It was nearby the bullring of the Barceloneta where the first hot air balloon was seen in Barcelona.

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The private dining rooms at the Set Portes hold big secrets and allow one to enjoy the food in a relaxed atomosphere like the green or pink room.The City of Marvels kept growing and financially booming. The rich people made the Rambla in fashion, El Liceu, they had a lover in Paris and they moved to the new majestuous Ensanche district and to the new international hotels with French chefs. The Set Portes became more popular and allowed billards, gambling, flamenco dancing, but suffered a certain decline. Its rebirth took place thanks to the Great War of 1914, the exposition of 1929 and the construction of the Frana train station. Bartomeu Mas bought the old caf and restored it to the taste of the military, spies, businessmen, land owners, artists and

freight forwarders that came to live near the port. Mas started serving them white beans with sausage, tomato bread, prawns, and drinks such as zuavo. Fed up with French cuisine, the Catalans returned to their own cuisine and began to devour white beans. To this day they are still present on the menu at Set Portes and there are people who still order them almost hiding in their reserved dining rooms where so many secrets are kept. As the accountant tells us, the Fall of the Human Empire began with the rushes that when the time to sit at the table at midday was finished. Coffee, a drink and a cigar? This was with the literary gatherings of Josep Maria de Segarra and other intellectuals. Now you can not smoke nor drink if you have to return to work after eating. He remembers these long gatherings with Joan Mir and Frederic Mompou dear elders that dined here and still few knew them nor recognized them. Poets, musicians, writers, actors, artists, ballerinas...All the muses have inspired something in The Set Portes that no one knows how many doors the restaurant actually had. Like the muses that we still discuss if there are three, nine, or seven. With respect to the literary gatherings we could easily write an entire book, says the accountant. In the meantime, the master Barea plays on the piano the Siete Mares Azules of the Acuarela from Toquinho. As it was read in old story books and comic books that todays owner of the restaurant collects - the story will continue.

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S U M M E R

L I V I N G

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13, 2011

TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan

Sitting on after a meal with taste and arturing the Second Republic, the Set Portes was left near the parliament and at its tables Francesc Maci, Lluis Companys, Josep Tarradellas, and the sindicalist Angel Pestaa frequented the restaurant. We must not leave out Frederico Garcia Lorca, Dal and Margarita Xirgu. The restaurant was already famous as a place to share conversation, but Josep Pla and Josep Maria de Segarra transformed it into a literary myth. During the civil war it was socialized and transformed into a public dining room served by sindicalists. Later on, Alexander Fleming, Eva Pern, Rothchild the millionaire, Manolete the bullfighter, Monsieur Citroen and personalities from the nuevo regimen dined there. The power was changed, but not the food, since all tried the same dishes as Catalans such as pig's feet gratin, that in Catalonia are still called Minister's feet. In 1942 Paco Parellada became the manager of Set Portes. Member of a long line of restauranteurs , he learned while he worked in the popular Fonda Europa in Granollers and the sophisticated Maison Dore in Barcelona. With his fine ability in public relations he managed to relate to livestock dealers, politicians and intellectuals. A legendary man, people used to say that they paid not only for the food, but also for his conversation. Set Portes became a large dining hall to practice the art of conversation. Parts of

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Just Blanquer, who appears in the photo, was both a waiter and poet and made verses of the menus of this restaurant which were the highlight of high-level literary gatherings.its legacy are fifteen fixed conversation meetings and many more improvised . The renowned magazine, Destino, held its meetings there, hosted by Josep Maria de Segarra, Nestor Lujn, Ignacio Augusti, Vicente Aleixandre and other writers. But, what deserves to give special mention to were the meetings held by those eight medical doctors who frequented the restaurant every Friday . They eventually died one after the other until there was only one left and every Friday he would come alone to the same table and ordered the same dishes. He continued maintain this tradition until he followed the same steps as his colleagues.

The oldest members of these gatherings are the traders at La Llotja and the Stock Brokers from the Stock Market, whose rich building is known as the one in front of Set Portes. There, the well known Pere Llaurad, since we were young and queued next to the telephone to find out the fluctuation of prices in Chicago. He speaks with the younger ones of today using their mobile phones waiting for news from Chicago. Among them, Rosa Grau, first and sole lady, member of the Llotja managers since the 17th century. When I began, we were very few. It was hard. We had to earn self-respect. Until I became a member of the literary gathering. Still there were members from La Llotja and the Stock Market from all over Spain. Every Tuesday at this table we did big business and moved big fortunes, said Llaurad. And continues: With the new technologies we are losing face to face contact which was very important to do business. Fixed gatherings are held by The Forum Technologic, Chamber of Commerce, Uni de Pagesos, Mercat Carnic, Ingenieros Agrnomos, Bara, Humorists from the magazine, El Jueves and other select personalities. Some met Just Blanquer, the man in the photo that illustrates this page. He was a poet and waiter that transformed every menu into a poem. He was so influential that he managed to get the train timetable changed for the Renfe gatherers so that they could return to Matar. Everyone ordered and today still continue to order Paella Parellada with its incredible history which will be covered in next Saturday's issue. .

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S U M M E R

L I V I N G

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20, 2011

TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan

Naked Paella and a Pijamahe Set Portes had been in existence for 63 years when in the year 1900 the Michelin Guide was created. Since the restaurant had never had the objective to obtain Michelin stars, it continues to be loyal to traditional Catalan cuisine. The restaurant has never given in to some of the strange fashion of gastronomy such as vichysoisse or shrimp cocktail which innundates other restaurants and then disappears without anyone knowing why. A Paella, for example, that many consider a dish mainly for tourists and the not so sophisticated, now change it for risotto. These things do not occur at the Set Portes. Since the last century millions of Parelllada paellas have been served. The definition is a rice dish not containing any bones from the fish nor meat with all its necessary bits and pieces of fish or meat, that must be carefully peeled, cleaned and cut, making it a gastronomic pleasure for the client to enjoy. The name of this type of rice dish is one of a capricious dandy, set in his comfortable ways, and what the Set Portes made to order for this type of palate, just for him and he would always give his surname to simplify the order. Since that time, the clients continue to order in this way and it has become in fashion in Catalonia and in many places to call it the rice of The Set Portes. They forgot that the chef, Josep Lladonosa, wrote a book containing 90 varieties of rice dishes that nowadays the clients can still order from. Carlos Ruiz has taken over the task as

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The Paella Parellada, made by the chef Carlos Ruiz in its most traditional way, owes its name to a capricious dandy who would always order this dish at the Set Portes.chef as the famous Lladonosa is now retired. I dislike being in the limelight of the media, I prefer anonymity, he claims. With a team of 45 kitchen staff under his wing, he is not interested in theory. Catalan cuisine during all our lives without concessions to a modern style, he synthesizes. He coordinates some 400 paellas per day, all dishes are a la carte as well as seasonal menus. However, his historical mission is to achieve that the restaurant never takes on the look of an industrial dining room, that each dish is at its exact cooking time, at the exact moment and that the client feels well looked after. Everything is very calculated and we have 8

burners on the stove only for paellas alone which allow us to prepare 20 at a time. Our paella chefs cook nothing else. A kitchen that is so busy can cause absolute chaos, but there, organization and silence dominate. Good food requires calm. One can only hear the waiters chant their orders from each table, and a strange phenomenon occurs: each chef only hears his own orders, as if our head were a computer that selects the messages, says Ruiz, while he is already thinking about the autumn menus. Another brand name of the house is the Pijama. Auguste Escoffier from the Hotel Savoy in London created this dessert in honor of the opera singer, Nellie Melba. It is called Peche Melba in French and Peach Melba in English. However, when the officials of the 6th Float disembarked in Barcelona and discovered The Set Portes, Paco Parellada translated it as Pijama and added whipped cream, flan and vanilla ice cream, peach in syrup and powdered sugar. It was a huge hit throughout Spain and was the deluxe dessert for the middle class that emerged from rationing. Knowing Catalans, that by nature, have a sweet tooth, the Set Portes was also the only restaurant that served ice cream in winter. For this reason, the ice cream producer, Frigo, gave shares as a gift to the owners of the business until a multinational bought out Frigo. And now due to asthetics and for dietetic purposes, it has alsmost disappeared from the menus of restaurants. The pijama still resists there where its name was given, the most appropriate for sweet dreams and digestion. For this reason the master Barea carresses the piano keys and with the song Nights in White Satin.

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S U M M E R

L I V I N G

SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2011

TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan

Ladies, Gentlemen and touristsn the year 1844 a reporter wrote: We recommend, especially to foreign visitors, the luxurious Set Portes. The cleanliness and superb service are a guarantee worth mentioning. The keeper of this tradition is Javier Requena, who 26 years ago began as an assistant waiter and later became dining room manager. To direct 45 waiters requires lots of skills and diplomacy with the client and the service, but it is fun because you deal with all kinds of people. Like when the comedian Jerry Lewis dined there, he saw a boy who was drawing on a table napkin and the actor wanted to buy the napkin . Or when Lauren Bacall entered into the room: she is such a beautiful and elegant lady who provoked complete silence in the room. The master Barea performed the brillant tune, To have and not to have. Too young to remember: you don't have to represent any role with me, Steve, you don't have to say or do anything with me. Only whistle. Do you know how to whistle? Put your lips together and blow. Luis Realp is the other dining room manager and has been working for a short time. I worked in many good restaurants and even had my own. But when I got a call from Set Portes, it was like getting a call from Bara. Mr. Realp has a degree in law and paid for his studies working as restaurant manager. He liked it and later on forgot about his law degree. Set Portes is not only a restaurant, it is

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The head maitre, Javier Requena, checks the state of a wine in the cellar of the Set Portes, a r estaurant that with the years, accentuates its identity.everything that surrounds it, a landmark of the city. More than its food, I enjoy the ambience and the atmosphere. Realp is one of those young, driven, overachievers that wants to face up to a new challenge: Maintain a tradition whilst working, make the client feel at home and you only can do that when the waiter is not only the transporter of a dish . He got the first lesson by a veteran accountant, Josep

very much of those in the Liceu. Deep down, things are the same, although it seems they've changed. From the time of the Olympic Games of 1992, so many tourists visited which caught us unprepared, they admit. Groups would come, we began to have waiting lists, rushes, and, for a Catalan, not to be able to find a table in his normal restaurant is something that he will never forgive, as it affects both their stomach and their feelings. The answer of the owners of the Set Portes has been to accentuate its symbols of identity. To avoid waiting lines, we recuperated some of the porches where we used to serve dinner until they were closed in the 70's due to the crisis, the traffic and social problems. At the moment, there are tables for smokers and something grand is being prepared for the Merc festivities. Also, they have highlighted what the clients and waiters mention constantly: More seasonal menus and more traditions like the Catalan Easter cake, Custard Cream for Sant Josep and the Special Catalan Christmas soup. The Golden book and the Art collection has been left to be seen and will be discussed in next Saturday's issue.

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S U M M E R

L I V I N G

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2011

TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan

The book of the seven symphoniesn the year 1985, the King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia wrote: How strange life can be! Having visited Barcelona more than 30 times and never having dined at the Set Portes seems like something unheard of, but the error has been by far rectified. They signed the Golden book of the restaurant that a year earlier Juan de Borbn, Count of Barcelona visited the restaurant and that in 1844 Queen Maria Christina was served. The book contains so many famous autographs that the Pianist Barea plays the song Imagine. Imagine a list containing: Joan Collins, Antonio Banderas, Catherine Deneuve Jerry Lewis, Paco Rabal, Harrison Ford, Lauren Bacall, Marcelo Mastroianni, Michael Douglas, Woody Allen, Pedro Almodvar, Fernando Rey, Jos Sacristan, Luis G. Berlanga, Margaux, Hemmingway, Robert de Niro...Or concerts by Alfredo Kraus, Josep Carreras, Victoria de los ngeles, Montserrat Caball, Bebo Valds, Gloria Estefn , Lluis Llach, Lola and Lolita Flores... Or some laughter with Charly Rivel, Mary Santpere, Pajares, Cassen and Eugenio. Or to see the state of the world with Jordi Pujol, Josep Tarradellas, Pasqual Maragall, Adolfo Surez, Santiago Carillo, Francesco Cossiga, Jacques Delors, Javier Solana, Vicente Fox, Alberto de Mnaco and Che Guevara. Or visit the kitchen with Arzak and Ruscalleda. Or converse about football with Pel, Schuster and

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The pianist Manuel Barea, a principle part of the restaurant, entertains the diners with more than 500 different scores of all styles.Rivaldo, and of books with Ana Maria Matute and Jos Saramago. Many preferred to draw rather that write and the book is like an art gallery illustrated by Julio Caro Baroja, Charlton Heston, Yoko Ono, Garcia Mrquez, Mingote, Rafael Alberti, Rebollo, Marisol, Gila and Felipe de Borbn. Together with them, Rfols Casamada, Maria Girona, Mir, Antonio Saura, Tpies, Xavier Cugat,

of Catalonia that Elisabet, the greatgranddaughter of Paco Parellada, catalogs and exhibits in the dining rooms. We will move them and restore them without anyone realizing it, she promises. A principle part of the restaurant is the maestro pianist Manuel Barea. As everything else in the house, he is more than a pianist for the restaurant. He has been recognized and congratulated by Frederic Mompou, Lou Reed, Plcido Domingo and Anthony Burgess, who composed Siete Melodies para el Siete Puertas. Who is maestro Barea? He played for 25 years in the Orchestra of the City of Barcelona, directed the Simphonic Band of Badalona and is professor of the Conservatory of Music of Badalona and the Escolania of Montserrat. It can not be expressed any clearer: he is a classic. With all the work I have, The Set Portes relaxes me because I go unnoticed, I capture the atmosphere and play each song at the appropriate moment, he confesses. For this reason, he has over 500 scores . Boleros that never fail and music from all the countries of the tourists. From Paraules d'Amor to Love Story. And from La Cumparasita to Yesterday. Anything by Sinatra, maestro? Strangers In The Night, but My Way. So very classic and sentimental just like The Set Portes.

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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2011

S U M M E R

L I V I N G

TASTE MEMORY Joaquim Roglan

The theory of hospitalityith its 175 years of history, the Set Portes has to be the only resturant whose owner is a university professor. He is Francesc Sol Parellada, born in one of the dining rooms of this establishment. His dynasty goes back to 1771 when Fidel Parellada invented the wine served by the glass in a tavern for the cart transporters in the market of Granollers. His sucessors innaugurated the Fonda Europa, another symbol of Catalan cuisine. And so on, until Paco Parellalda came to the Set Portes. Francesc Sol mentions This table was my desk and there I got my degrees in Economics and Engineering. As a boy he helped his parents and as time went on he eventually combined the restaurant work with giving classes as a professor at the Polytechnic University of Barcelona. He took his official exams and became a full professor of Engineering- the youngest in Spain. I had to delegate runnning the restaurant because the scientific community would not approve that an academic was a waiter. On the second floor was his family home. My mother, Carme Parellada hosted all my cousins from La Seu de Urgell and Granollers and here 7 cousins of mine used to live. Once again seven. One of these is Ramn Parellada that opened the restaurant, Seor Parellada, a clone of Fonda Europa. I was the assistant and driver of Josep Pla. My

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The porches cover the Set Portes, a symbol of Catalan cuisine and above all a reference point for both residents of Barcelona and visitors as well.friends had pictures of Che Guevarra in their room and me, a photo of Pla. Before becoming a legend of the past, Che Guevarra visited Set Portes and was served by Francesc. He came dressed in uniform, kept his turn, he called me chico and he ordered Paella Parellada. The myth of all the cousins is grandfather Paco. He used to say that if a restaurant goes well, the sons would study, prosper

with dances and traditions. But, to the countries found between these two parallels from California until the seven cuisines of China, hospitality means that you take your guests to eat outside the home whilst making them feel at home. They keep this sacred flame burning and mention, from the Set Portes one can write the sociology of gastronomy, another of eccentricity, and another of the everyday life in Barcelona. They know for sure that this restaurant is a symbol of Catalan philosophy that consists of doing things well, preserving what you own and passing it down to your children, updating it and increasing it. While updating it, the 175th anniversary is a reason to renew it without losing its positive and nostalgic ambience, because as Lluis Llach sings: Far, we must go farther. This is the last after dinner conversation of these 7 Saturdays at the Set Portes. There is no one left and the waiters are reorganizing everything for Sunday. A day for family groups. We are now in a reference of our country. says the professor. Before the Sagrada Familia, the Set Portes was the first restaurant with running water and gas light. And the maestro Barea says goodbye to the readers with the song, Eternally .

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