Our vision is to take you on adventures to cities around the world. Featuring the best local hangouts so you can experience life like a local on your adventures. Featuring Chef Evan Elman from Vancouver, join us for a culinary adventure in Portugal and Andalucia.
When Chef Elman and I first chatted about the potential of an article featuring his craft, we came across the topic of his upcoming travels to Portugal and Spain, and I sprung at the idea of covering this culinary adventure. Here, you join Chef Elman on a delicious, visual journey that will definitely trigger your travel bug to purchase a flight ticket to visit Portugal and Spain in the near future.
Above left features pulpo a la lagareira, a traditional Portuguese dish with grilled octopus and root vegetables. This was taken while Evan was travelling through Porto Covo, small surf town with just over 1000 residents located about 170km south of Lisbon.
Above right showcases a sweaty Iberico ham ready to be carved in the oldest and most famous tapas bar in Seville, El Rinconcillo. The bar houses over 4 centuries of history and is the oldest bar in Seville, preserving the magic of the traditional city since 1670. Here, the dining environment takes you back through time.
MARKET ENCARNACION || Fresh Foods
Pl. de la Encarnación, s/n, 41003 Sevilla, Spain
A traditional market nestled within modern architecture, Market Encarnacion presents over 40 different colourful stalls filled with fresh merchandise and friendly staff. Below is a beautiful display of Iberico ham at one of the vendor stalls.
CADIZ CENTRAL MARKET || Seafood Market
Plaza Libertad, S/N, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
Visit the Cadiz Central Market if you are looking for fresh seafood at reasonable prices. Aisles upon aisles of fresh seafood vendors to choose from and a great place to enjoy tapas!
DINE || Porto
When stopping by Porto, one must try its infamous Porto wines. It's flavourful, sweet taste absorbing the fragrance of the fruits in the Douro Valley makes for a sensational addition to your meal. Here is a photo from one of Chef Elman's favourite meals while in Porto, Piri Piri Frango Asado and a bottle of Douro wine.
Another must-eat item while in Porto is the Francesinha. It's a sandwich composed of a mix of wet-cured ham, steak, sausage, loaded with melted cheese on top and served in a house-special sauce made with beer or tomatoes that vary with the restaurant. A very popular dish in Portugal, the locals each have their favourite restaurants.
DRINK || Port Wines
If you visit Porto, you mustn't leave empty-handed as their wines are one of the best souvenirs from the area. Authentic, high-quality Douro Valley wines don't come by easily elsewhere or at such a value price, so make sure you bring a few bottles back to savour in the comfort of your own home.
SIGHTSEE || Snapshots
Asides from the delicious fare along the way on Chef Elman's travels, there were plenty of stunning scenic captures as well. Below are a few of the locations that called for a photo.
BIO || Chef Evan Elman
Evan Elman is a young chef originally from Boston, who now resides in Vancouver. After his girlfriend won airplane tickets to anywhere that Air Canada flies, the two decided on Portugal. The reason was simple - they both love food, wine and the beaches - of which Portugal has plenty. The two rented a car and drove for 5 weeks through the country as well as Andalucía.
Portuguese food is simple, fresh, and unapologetic. The need for modern cooking techniques and pretentious presentation has no place here. The freshest ingredients speak for themselves and though this is something Evan was already aware of, it’s something he truly understood after spending time there.
In contrast, a week-long trip through Andalucía showed similar but noticeably different trends. The gastronomy of southern Spain reflected the emerging modern cities which still held their ties to the past through architecture and culture; an interesting juxtaposition to the small gothic towns of Portugal that haven’t changed much since the 15th century. Though the scenery in Spain was a bit more modern, the traditional tapas was something they searched for everyday. Small affordable plates of incredible food meant to be shared inspired Evan.
Upon returning, Evan is using his knowledge of Portugal to add to his world dining experiences, and blend it into his cuisine to create memorable experiences. He offers his professional services in the Vancouver area, through pop up dinners and private dining events. More about his professional services can be found online at http://chefevanelman.com.