To protest about bullfighting in Spain, the eating of dogs in South Korea, or the slaughter of baby seals in Canada while continuing to eat eggs from hens who have spent their lives crammed into cages, or veal from calves who have been deprived of their mothers, their proper diet, and the freedom to lie down with their legs extended, is like denouncing apartheid in South Africa while asking your neighbors not to sell their houses to blacks.
There are pockets of great food in Spain, but there are also pockets of very mediocre food in Spain, and the same in Morocco and the same in Croatia and the same in Germany and the same in Austria.
I love getting to bounce around and explore so much. I love Scandinavia. I love Spain. It's so mystical and romantic, yet it's gritty.
I have a brother-in-law who lives in Spain.
When I started in 1978, the greatest wine in Spain, Vega Sicilia, wasn't even imported to the United States. The alleged greatest Australian wine, Penfolds Grange, wasn't imported to the United States. There were no by-the-glass programs. Sommeliers were intimidating.
The coffee's good in Italy. It's good in Spain. It's good in Istanbul. The coffee's not so good in America.
Near Marseilles in the south of France, bouillabaisse is a cult food. In Toulouse and Carcassonne, the bean-based stew cassoulet is a cult food. Spain has paella and a number of others. Italy has so many, its cuisine is practically defined by them.
The reality is that throughout my career I've tackled projects in Spain that I'm proud of.