Breaking bread, Popping Corks

Once upon a time families grew and cooked their own food eating with the seasons and balancing their diet. With specialization and the drive for profitability both the production and the elaboration have been subcontracted to manufacturers and restaurants who have little interest in our well-being except where our disaffection might impact on shareholder profits. The quality of ingredients has reached rock-bottom with even raw produce being adulterated. This impoverished manufactured product is then frozen and revived by restaurants who offer everything on one menu from Sushi to Pizza while delivering nothing of value. Even top Michelin restaurants, desperate to stand out, all too often favour impression over genuine quality and bombard the diner with a dazzling show of twenty intellectualized micro dishes accompanied by such maître classics as “ this dish will remind you of the rain falling on Central Park in early Autumn ( verbatim example)”. Personally I don’t want to travel to Tokyo to be wet in New York. At Juan Valiente we will take you back to core values.

Context

We only serve Spanish food made from ingredients supplied by people we know. The irony of globalization is that instead of enriching the traveller’s experience it is impoverished. If you can eat everything, everywhere and at any time of year, where is the sense of having travelled through time and space? If you want spaghetti we can recommend a great little restaurant in Piazza Farnese, Rome.

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Transparency

You will not find lamb converted to foam or Ice cream that burns your tongue. At our table you will never be in doubt as to what you are eating but our lamb is organic and cooked in a cast iron wood burning stove for nine hours and our ice creams home made with fruits we picked ourselves.

Living with the Seasons

We do not posses a microwave nor freeze food and cook what is in season. As humans we have evolved to extract the nutritional value of food in accordance to the time of year. So root vegetables are ready in winter when we need the carbohydrates and salads in Summer for lighter fare.

The Trojan Horse of choice

An extensive menu gives the appearance of largesse. In fact it is the hallmark of indifference. At our table there is no menu as we cook what was best at the markets that morning.

Well met fellow humans

We believe eating should be a joyous and social affair where we celebrate the fact that we will live another day. So at Juan Valiente we all eat at a single table. Food is placed in the centre and guests help themselves and others. If you want to sit in a silence only broken by the breathing of the waiter hovering at your back then stay away! If you want the vitality of an ad-hoc group foraging from delicious plates with animated wandering conversation, take a seat!

When in Spain…

Spaniards live longer than any other European nation. One of the reasons is that they have their main meal at lunch allowing time to digest. So do we.

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True to our anti-globalization ethos we only stock Spanish wines. Mind you, we have at any given time up to sixty vintages and 1200 bottles to cater to the most demanding and thirsty connoisseur. In general we try and stock the rarer wines, those from bodegas who, whereas producers of outstanding product, have neither the money nor perhaps the skills to gain recognition through marketing.