Honoring the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León’s arrival in Florida, a new food and art exhibition from Spain – “Tapas: Spanish Design for Food” – has launched its U.S. premiere in Miami.
Covering 8,000 square feet with more than 200 exhibits, the displays and installations by Spanish chefs, designers, architects, wineries and restaurants span the last 25 years of Spain’s avant-garde experimental blending of design and food.
Wine bottles with creative labels are featured, along with legendary Spanish culinary icons, such as the paella pan, the bota wineskin, botijo (a clay water bottle) and the porrón wine pitcher. There’s also an audiovisual presentation featuring the interior designs of Spanish restaurants and the architecture of wineries across Spain.
One section of the exhibit traces the evolution of traditional Spanish products, such anchovy-stuffed olives, churros and paella, alongside the elaborate and avant-garde techniques of innovative chefs.
Among the items: The “clothespin spoon” used at El Bulli, the now-closed Spanish restaurant where chef Ferran Adrià achieved three Michelin stars with his molecular cuisine. Guests at El Bulli were given the spoon with basil and other herbs clipped to it to as a sensory stimulation to enhance smell and taste.
The free show, which runs through Dec. 15 at The Moore Building, 4040 N.E. Second Ave., just north of downtown Miami, is curated by designer-architect Juli Capella and presented by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) to promote Spanish culture and heritage.
“ ‘Tapas’ perfectly showcases how Spanish chefs and designers are spearheading our culture’s gastronomic and design innovations,” said Acción Cultural Española's CEO, Elvira Marco.
“Spain chose Miami to premiere the exhibit 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.,” Marco said. “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.”
The exhibit explores the interaction between design and gastronomy, two creative disciplines booming right now in Spain, home to some of the world’s best restaurants, including Mugaritz and El Celler de Can Roca. Products designed by Spaniards, along with items made in Spain by foreign designers, are among the featured works.
“This exhibition is a tribute to the origins of the word Tapa, ” said the curator, Juli Capella.
Tapa, which means lid in Spanish, refers to the ancient custom to cover (tapar) a glass of wine with a slice of bread or chilled meat to keep out dust and insects.
Info: 305-606-7295, www.ccemiami.org