100% Catalan wine pairing
It’s rare to find anything completely original on the Barcelona culinary scene right now. Between street and ethnic food options, gastronomic restaurants and other food experiences the city has a very varied offering. However La Catalista is genuinely unusual, the project is the brainchild of Erin Nixon, an American entrepreneur based in Barcelona since 2017 who partnered with Laila Bazham (a chef originally from the Philippines and co-owner of Hawker45) in order to create a gastronomic menu composed of several dishes each paired with a selection of Catalan wines selected by Erin herself. The restaurant and the offering is very personal, which includes the service that perfectly matches the warm and cosy surroundings.
Bazham is renowned for her delicate fusion of Asian and Western cuisine while Nixon brings a foreigner’s verve and passion for researching and discovering local wines, many of which are sourced from little known wineries. She is training to be a sommelier after having worked in the tech sector previously, deciding to ultimately to follow her dreams to work in the hospitality industry.
Photo of Erin Nixon (left) and Laila Bazham (right) en La Catalista
The tasting menu at La Catalista is structured around the pairing of 13 dishes with 13 wines, all of them from small production wineries. These are wineries that Nixon has personally experienced: three sparkling wines, four whites, five reds, a rosé and two sweet wines. Almost all of these references feature natural, biodynamic or organic wines. In addition to their quality, Nixon has chosen producers who have an interesting story to tell. For Bazham, the theories of François Chartier provide the criteria for the gastronomic menu. Chartier is renowned for his scientific work on taste and molecular food harmonies as published in the book Papilles et Molécules: La Science Aromatique Des Aliments et Des Vins (published in English as Taste Buds and Molecules – The Aromatic Science of Food and Wine in 2010).
The name La Catalista covers several concepts. Firstly, “Cata” in Castellano refers to tasting, as in wine tasting, and “Lista” means a variety of things, including the idea of a list (“tasting list”). It also describes those who are intelligent or curious or nerdy (“nerdy tasting”). We love how this embodies our playful spirit. And “Catalista” sounds like the English word “catalyst,” which refers to a spark, or an agent of change.
The menu allows diners to try the wines by the glass, half-glass and bottle, matched with Bazham’s cuisine so that solid and liquid provide a memorable experience. The dishes have an individual tasting or sharing format, so that a lunch or dinner at La Catalista will allow you to discover between three and five wines, depending on whether you choose to share.
The idea is to change the food menu a few times over the year, always with the focus on the wines and taking care to compliment the flavours with the matching dishes.
The Catalista opens from Monday to Thursday from 2pm to 11pm, Friday from 2pm till midnight. While on Saturday and Sunday from 2pm till 12 midnight and 11pm, closed on Mondays.
- La Catalista
- Wine Bar and Kitchen
- C/ Calderes, 11
- 08003 Barcelona
- telf. 93 268 31 78