From last July, an original mobile restaurant suspended seven metres over the Onyar river in Girona is offering new culinary proposals even for the most demanding tastes. El Vol Espai Gastronomic has its own tailored gourmet programme, created by some of Catalonia's best chefs, for a reduced number of 18 dinner guests, in a unique setting in the heart of Girona, with the River Onyar below and surrounded by views of the old quarter, the famous coloured houses and the Cathedral.
Names such as Tony Vallory, Pere Malagelada, Josep Sabrià, Sergi Ballús, Carme Picàs and Jimena Apellániz are all involved in creating meals in a show cooking format, which means the chefs cook live, with the chance to interact with assembled the guests.
The 20-metre long construction was designed by the IXCE company and was inspired by Girona's iconic Pont de Ferro, one of most popular bridges over the Onyar, which was designed by the architect Gustave Eiffel.
El Vol, which is supported by the Agència Catalana de Turisme and the Patronat de Turisme Costa Brava Girona, aims to be a sort of gastronomic embassy, a culinary window to showcase the diversity, richness and uniqueness of the local products and the culinary talent of Catalonia. That is the reason it was conceived as a mobile venue that will go on to travel to the main European capitals including London and Moscow, after Girona, where it will remain for about a year.
The venue offers lunch services on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and dinner on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. El Vol can also be hired by groups and companies, for private meals or gastronomic activities. For bookings: www.volgastronomic.com. Price: 65 euros.
'El VOL is a unique gastronomic performance'
How did you come up with the idea?
It is a private initiative by the IXCE company, which designs and manufactures singular constructions. It is inspired by Gustave Eiffel's emblematic bridge in Girona and other iconic venues around the world, such as The Cube restaurant in Milan or Nomiya in Paris, both of them itinerant.
What is your objective?
The idea is to promote Girona and Catalan cuisine and tourism. We started in Girona, as it is the ideal place being an international capital of gastronomy. We'll stay in Girona for a year and then we will travel to other European cities, and we have already had some interesting offers.
What kind of cuisine will the chefs serve?
The most representative for each of them: a chef from Girona will cook something different than another one from Olot, Camprodón or Palamós. They'll use local products to reflect the best of Catalonia's gastronomic heritage and culture.
How are the bookings going?
We envisioned 1,000 diners and even before opening, 80% of them had already sold out. So, it's going really well.
Where are the clients from?
Mostly from Girona city and province, but we also have clients from Barcelona and abroad.
Tell me about show cooking.
More than just a meal, guests enjoy a gastronomic performance, as the chefs cook live. What they cook is visible from the tables, and we look for interaction between the chefs and guests.
Why this name?
It has many interpretations, but for us it's mainly because half of the space will be suspended over the river, so that guests can have a unique experience.