Tapas - Spanish Design for Food makes its U.S. premiere in Miami

By: Rachelle Lucas

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Having dined at El Celler de Can Roca (named the best restaurant in the world in 2013) I can attest to the Spanish flare for combining design, food, and multi-sensory culinary experiences.  And now you can experience it too as a new food exhibition is opening at The Moore Building in Miami's Design District; Tapas - Spanish Design For Food.  This will be the first stop for Spain’s new international traveling exhibition and will premiere Nov. 9 – Dec. 15 (including Art Basel Week).

Honoring the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León’s arrival in Florida, the exhibition is curated by designer/architect Juli Capella and is presented by
Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), promoting Spanish culture and heritage worldwide.

“Spain chose Miami to premiere Tapas in the U.S. because the global spotlight shines so brightly on this design and food destination, especially as its season takes off during Art Basel Week. This new, international traveling cultural experience from Spain aims to engage and mix with the international design and food influences converging in Miami for the love of art.”  “This exhibition is a tribute to the origins of the word Tapa,
” said the curator, Juli Capella.

Here's a cool piece of trivia for you.  Did you know that Tapa also means "lid" in Spanish, and is derived from the ancient custom to cover (tapar) a glass of wine with a slice of bread or chilled meat to keep out dust and insects.  Pretty cool, eh?  Because no one likes a black fly in their chardonnay. 

But the best part about tapas is the sociability of it.  When a group of friends gets together at the table to taste portions of widely varying flavors, it’s more than just a way to enjoy food - it’s also a great way to share an experience. This is Spain’s message to today’s world: bring people together for real social connections, with Tapas.

The show encompasses 8,000 square feet with more than 200 exhibits, displays and installations by Spanish chefs, designers, architects, wineries and restaurants spanning the last 25 years of Spain’s avant-garde experimental blending of design and food. Legendary Spanish culinary icons are also featured, including the paella pan, traditional wineskins and flasks, the bota, botijo and porrón.  Have you ever tried to drink wine from a Spanish porrón?  It's designed in such a way that everyone can share a pitcher of wine without having the glass touch everyone's lips.  And while it might be clever and sanitary, I'm convinced that porrón translated to English might mean "pour on."  If you get a chance to try it and let me know.  It's fun.

The show features three distinct elements:
1.) The Kitchen (preparation and utensils)
2.) The Table (objects used to sample food)
3.) The Meal (food design)

Visitors will receive an edible printout (edible paper with edible inks), with their image inserted onto one of three Tapa recipes (illustrating Octopus Galician Style, Bold Potatoes, and Lamb’s Kidneys in Sherry).

Here's the scoop on when and where so you can plan to see the show!

WHEN:  Nov 9 – Dec 15
- Tuesday-Friday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday: 12:00 – 7:00 pm
WHERE:  The Moore Building, 4040 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Miami’s Design District
INFO: 305-606-7295

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