I grew up with my grandparents – which meant basically two things. First, I was allowed to do whatever the heck I wanted. Well, almost. I was banned from my grandma’s flower garden – because somehow all I wanted to do with all those beautiful flowers, was to pick them and braid with my hair.

Second, I was never ever hungry. I swear, until I moved to Costa Rica at the age of 12, I had no idea what it feels like to be hungry.

Thing is, both my grandparents cooked a lot – in fact if they were outside of kitchen, they were either harvesting vegetables and fruit from our farmland, or chasing me in the garden.

So why “cinnamon grenka“? I am a firm believer that cinnamon makes everything better. Even whiskyGrenka (and yes, it is also far better with cinnamon, excusez-moi, French readers) means “french toast” in Russian, and my grandfather still makes it better than anyone else. Even after having studied in a culinary school, I was never able to replicate his recipe. And as strange as it sounds, a simple fare of fried bread, with sugar and butter, brings back some of the most precious childhood memories. Waking up to the smell of home baked pastries,and having the whole family gather around a big table – with piles of fresh fruit and berries collected from the branches the same morning, cream and curd cheese my grandma made herself, with jugs of fresh milk and chocolate, and homemade preserves and honey from a nearby bee yard.

My grandparents might have given me my first cooking lessons, but even more than that – and for this I probably should thank the rest of my family as well – I have learnt how to enjoy food. Something as simple as that, yet it seems like these days people forget that food we eat is more than the right nutrition, a source of energy, something which can either make you more or less fat.

I happen to live now in Spain, a country where eating good food and drinking even better wine is a vital part of enjoying life.

And since, let’s be honest, it would be plain stupid not to enjoy life, I happily adopted at least this side of Spanish philosophy. I like both cooking and dining out, I don’t like stressing about food (which I did, and drove myself to a bunch of eating disorders at some point), I certainly don’t track macros, and if I want to eat sushi for lunch, and bread with cheese for dinner – ain’t nobody stopping me from doing so.

But also. Sushi has to be fresh prepared in an acclaimed Japanese restaurant, bread should be a sourdough loaf from organic grains, and cheese – raw milk, cured, and from a local farm.

I might eat a lot, but I am still fancy.

So, there is a big chance you won’t find lots of fast-food mentions in this blog. And I have recently decided to give up take-away boxes in flavor of the full gourmet experiences,
But other than that – hopefully I will be able to share with you some of my favorite places in Barcelona, to lunch, to brunch, to dine, and just to enjoy food.