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La Biblioteca Gourmande

By Clare Considine

la biblioteca gourmande
Chef Guillem Oliva claims that the vegetables are talking to him. But this is no attempt to live up to any kind of work-hard, play-hard chef cliché. They talk to him in the middle of the day, in Catalan (presumably) when he is stone cold sober.

Oliva is a man who truly loves the ingredients that surround him in Catalunya. In his opinion, just as his daughters teach him how to be a father, his ingredients teach him how to be a chef. And as flowery as this may sound, it really does make a lot of sense.

La Biblioteca Gourmande is a small and unassuming restaurant that sits in the heart of Raval and offers up food that conjures long lunches in the masias of the Pyrenees. All of the food served at the restaurant is organic and locally sourced – Oliva has personal relationships with all of his suppliers.

And as seasonality is the name of the game, the menu changes on a regular basis. Perhaps the best way to sample Oliva’s offerings is with the tasting menu. Place your tastebuds in his hands as he takes you on a tour of the season. You can expect to be treated to anything from mató (a Catalan fresh cheese) with pine nuts and caramel­ized onions, to calamari with morcilla (made in-house bien sûr).

And expect as much detail as you see fit on the cow or cauliflower that lies before you. The Wagyu beef was raised at the Can Mabres masia in Esparraguera. And if you’d like to know its name they can most probably tell you that as well. As long as you don’t mind eating a fillet named David. You have been warned.

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La Biblioteca Gourmande

C/ Junta de Comerç, 28
Barcelona
+34 93 412 62 21