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Spain’s New International Exhibition Premieres In The U.S. Honoring Florida’s 500th Tapas – Spanish Design For Food

October 25, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email
The first stop for Spain’s new international traveling exhibition is Miami, where Tapas – Spanish Design for Food makes its U.S. premiere Nov. 9–Dec. 15 (including Art Basel Week), at The Moore Building in Miami’s Design District.
Honoring the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León’s arrival in Florida, the exhibition is curated by designer/architect Juli Capella and is presented by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), promoting Spanish culture and heritage worldwide.
Co-presenters are The Centro Cultural Español en Miami (CCE Miami), SPAIN arts & culture and the España Florida Foundation.

The show encompasses 8,000 square feet with more than 200 exhibits, displays and installations by Spanish chefs, designers, architects, wineries and restaurantsspanning the last 25 years of Spain’s avant-garde experimental blending of design and food. Legendary Spanish culinary icons are also featured, including the paella pan, traditional wineskins and flasks, the bota, botijo and porrón.

Showcasing imagination and talent targeting the taste buds, the show features three distinct elements:
1.) The Kitchen (preparation and utensils)
2.) The Table (objects used to sample food)
3.) The Meal (food design).
“Tapas perfectly showcases how Spanish chefs and designers are spearheading our culture’s gastronomic and design innovations,” said Acción Cultural Española’s CEO, Elvira Marco. 

“Spain chose Miami to premiere Tapas in the U.S. because the global spotlight shines so brightly on this design and food destination, especially as its season takes off during Art Basel Week. This new, international traveling cultural experience from Spain aims to engage and mix with the international design and food influences converging in Miami for the love of art.” 

“This exhibition is a tribute to the origins of the word Tapa,” said the curator, Juli Capella.

Tapa also means lid in Spanish, and is derived from the ancient custom to cover (tapar) a glass of wine with a slice of bread or chilled meat to keep out dust and insects.

“During the turn of this century, Spain has led a bold, avant-garde experiment: combining high cuisine with high design,” adds Capella.

“Culinary creations are matched to their containers, thus going beyond raw ingredients and cooking.

“This Spanish revolution fosters the partnership between chef and designer,” said Juli Capella, curator.

The Tapas tradition best exemplifies Spain’s true, social nature.

When a group of friends gets together at the table to taste portions of widely varying flavors, it’s more than just a way to enjoy food – it’s also a great way to share an experience. This is Spain’s message to today’s world: bring people together for real social connections, with Tapas.

Curator Juli Capella further emphasizes the role that design plays in this exhibition, and in Spain’s new design-rich culinary influences: “In a world without design, we would be sitting naked on the ground, there would be no tables and no chairs, no cameras or wristwatches.”

“Design is synonymous with progress.  As our different cultures engage in more permanent contact and we are all influenced by each other, the distinctive features of geographical design by countries or by regions are melting away in our inter-connected world.”

“Unlike languages (Spanish vs. English, for example), design is like music: a universal idiom,” said Juli Capella. 

More About Tapas – Spanish Design for Food …

Tapas – Spanish Design for Food explores the interaction between design and gastronomy, two creative disciplines enjoying a boom in Spain and achieving international acclaim. The exhibition features products designed by Spaniards, even if produced in another country, along with items made in Spain by foreign designers.

Tapas offers a contemporary and cutting-edge perspective via a number of designs produced exclusively for leading restaurants such as elBulliEl Celler de Can Roca (named the best restaurant in the world in 2013) and Mugaritz.


Designers, architects, wineries, restaurants and chefs have contributed their works for a show which not only features more than two hundred exhibits, but also a large collection of wine bottles which stand out for their bold and appealing labels.

The exhibition includes an audiovisual presentation featuring a selection of interior design in Spanish restaurants. It also features wineries from across Spain which stand out for the quality of their architectural designs, including designs by  Gehry, Hadid and Moneo.

The Spanish artist Miralda will present Eat You – Eat Me, an interactive “edible performance art” installation at the public opening November 9.

Visitors will receive an edible printout (edible paper with edible inks), with their image inserted onto one of three Tapa recipes (illustrating Octopus Galician Style, Bold Potatoes, and Lamb’s Kidneys in Sherry).

Tapas is divided into three major sections within the 8,000-square-foot exhibition: 
1. The kitchen
This is the working area, a laboratory which blends functionality and aesthetics. A feature of every home and restaurant which must be equipped with the accoutrements, utensils, apparatus, dishes and furniture used to prepare food, such as casseroles, cutlery, containers and a range of equipment employed to handle food, process and cook it, and finally arrange it on the dishes or plates which will be served at table. Here, in a space essentially dedicated to work, functionality previously reigned supreme, although new materials and the fact that the kitchen has gradually taken on an increasingly important role within the home have led to a change in habits and the aesthetics of the furniture and objects to be found here.

2. The table

This is where food and drink are taken in, a shared space combining furniture and architecture with functionality and aesthetics. The section reveals the whole host of objects designed for the presentation and sampling of food. Whether at home or in a restaurant, on a airplane or picnicking in the countryside, the act of eating is accompanied by a ritual made up of objects which will vary depending on the circumstances, and could include anything from the smallest salt cellar to the crockery, cutlery, glassware, table linen, furniture (tables, chairs, lamps) and interior decor, right up to the architecture of famous wineries and restaurants.

3. The meal
Ingredients, techniques and diet, combining tradition and modernity. This section, divided into several settings, presents first of all food produce which stands out above all from the formal perspective. It also shows the evolution of traditional Spanish products “devised” by mankind, in their form or concept (anchovy-stuffed olives, churros and paella, whose origins are lost in the mists of time), alongside more elaborate and avant-garde techniques by innovative chefs.  From Spanish ingredients such as the cured hams of the Iberian pig to the most sophisticated creations dreamt up at elBulli, alongside native culinary creations including the paella and gazpacho, and such inspired but anonymous inventions as the pintxo bar snacks of the Basque Country.

This section contains a range of references and historical anecdotes to the origins of Spain’s famed tapas, including one of many possible explanations suggesting that the practice may have begun in the 13th century (when King Alfonso the Wise suffered an illness and was advised to drink the occasional glass of wine). 

New designs for new social challenges are also featured in this third setting, highlighting the interest taken by Spanish design in new technologies, its commitment to the restoration of traditional craft techniques in harmony with the values of eco-design, and the use of recycled materials such as cardboard and wood, as well as plants such as bulrushes.

Concurrent Local Programming:
Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) and Centro Cultural Español in Miami (CCE Miami) present a cultural series at the Moore Space and at CCE Miami (located at 1490 Biscayne Blvd.), including:
•  Three James Beard Awarded chefs will lecture on trends about Tapas, food and design, on different dates throughout November and December. (Chefs José Andrés, Michelle Bernstein and Maricel Presilla.) 
•  Film Screenings about the culture of food in Spain at CCE Miami. (Tapas, Dieta Mediterránea, Fuera de Carta and Jamón Jamón).
•  Workshops about raw cooking by chefs Agusti Comabella and Montse Guillen.
•  An exhibition at the CCE Miami by local artists Gene Moreno and Ernesto Oroza on their commissioned Tabloid for TAPAS titled Georgia’s Bullet where they show the results of their research workshops on Miami’s local culinary culture with students from DASH and the Culinary Institute of Miami Dade College. 
•  Microtheater’s new season with a gastronomy theme “Por Comerte Me Muero”  (“I’m Dying to Eat You”) 

The Moore Building
4040 N.E. 2nd Avenue
Miami’s Design District

– Tuesday-Friday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
– Saturday: 12:00 – 7:00 pm

More info: 305-606-7295

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