Eating Vincent Price: Spain
It all started one afternoon at HopLeaf in Andersonville.
I sat down with Chris Garlington: writer, cigar smoker, and as of lately, aspiring chef. Chris grew up with a cookbook, dragging it around the house the way a normal kid would clench to a favorite blanket. It's a very cool book: puffy book covers, gilded fore edges, and attached satin ribbons to mark your favorite pages. Inside the book are recipes collected by none other than the late Vincent Price, surprisingly an avid foodie, enough so that chefs all over the world handed him their secret recipes while he dined in their restaurants.
The recipes in the book are ultra old-school (circa 1962): think "Madmen" meets "Jacques Pepin" meets "The Jetsons". Price brought back recipes from world-class restaurants, international and continental cuisine, and infused the new American space-age food craze. As revolting as it sounds when Price suggests "canned grapes" for a recipe, I'm still on board, realizing he's a cool guy and was only trying to embrace the food trends of the times.
Chris described his vision: Recreating extravagant meals using recipes from his favorite cookbook, A Treasury of Great Recipes, by Vincent and Mary Price (his 2nd wife). Every dinner would be documented, stories and mishaps captured by Chris on his Blog. I really loved the idea; I'm a nostalgia junkie and the thought of a book dictating menu ideas definitely appealed to me. So Chris and I met up with Chef Lauren and talked logistics.
Chef Lauren had started a Monday Night dinner thang at one of the favorite Clandestino go-to spots, the abandoned convent. We all agreed this would be the ideal spot for the EVP dinners, where Lauren would head up the kitchen.
Our inaugural EVP dinner on July 25th featured recipes from Price's dining experiences in Spain. Lauren prepared a delicious Tortilla Espanola with pickled zucchini from our garden. This interesting combination led to high levels of umami. The day before the dinner Chris broke down 10 chickens, his rite of passage to kitchenhood. Yes, it took him too long and he cut himself, earning him the rank of "kitchen bitch".
Check out photos from EVP:Spain below. Read up on Chris Garlington's progress on his Blog: http://eatingvincentprice.com/blog/
We're planning more dinners over the coming months, highlighting restaurants of the past, making the recipes new again. Check back on ClandestinoDining.org
Photos by Tyler Core