EUHT StPOL introduces the new “Master’s Degree in Culinary Arts, Innovation and Kitchen Management”13 April, 2023
Innovative techniques any creative chef should know3 May, 2023
Legend says that in order to rescue a princess, Sant Jordi had to kill a dragon that had kidnapped her. And from the dragon’s blood, a rose bush sprouted out. April 23, in addition to being Sant Jordi (Saint George’s Day), it’s also the date on which William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes died. This is why, in Catalonia, on the day of Sant Jordi, everyone gives a rose and a book to their loved ones.
In previous years we have recommended hospitality and cooking books written by EUHT StPOL former students or recommended by our professors. This year we bring you a selection of novels and essays that will embrace you into this wonderful world.
Literature and books on hospitality, restaurants, wineries and gastronomy
BERTRAM HOTEL, AGATHA CHRISTIE
Agatha Christie’s bibliography is full of stories set in hotel and vacation settings. Surely, ‘Death in the sun’ or ‘Death on the Orient Express’, with their film versions are among the best known. Somewhat less famous than Hercule Poirot, in ‘Bertram Hotel’ the protagonist in charge of solving the case is Jane Marple, a guest who is on vacation at the hotel and decides to investigate the robberies that are taking place on her behalf.
The plot is intriguing and well-constructed, keeping the reader in constant tension as the mystery is slowly unraveled. Agatha Christie does an excellent job setting the hotel, which makes the reader feel transported to the time in which the story takes place. If you are a fan of her novels or you like the mystery genre, you should definitely give this work a try.
HOTEL, ARTHUR HAILEY
‘Hotel’ is a novel by Canadian writer Arthur Hailey that was published in 1965 and has become a classic of hotel fiction literature. The story takes place at the St. Gregory Hotel, a luxurious hotel in the heart of New Orleans, and follows the daily lives of its employees and guests.
The main plot centers on Peter McDermott, the hotel manager, who must face a series of problems that threaten the success and reputation of the St. Gregory. From a strike by hotel workers to an assassination attempt, through the fight against competition and the need to renovate the building. It provides an interesting look into the inner workings of a luxury hotel, from management to room service. If you like contemporary fiction, this novel will not disappoint you.
THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS, ERICA BAUERMEISTER
This novel tells the story of a diverse group of people who sign up for a cooking class at a local restaurant in Seattle. Through weekly classes, students learn not only basic culinary skills, but also important lessons about life and love.
Written in lyrical and engaging prose, it takes you through the emotions and experiences of each character. The chapters are structured around cooking lessons, each focusing on an essential ingredient, giving the story a cohesive framework.
But what makes “The School of Essential Ingredients” so charming is the way it focuses on the characters and their relationships, as well as the food. Each character has a unique and exciting story that intertwines with the others, and the cooking lessons serve as metaphors for the lessons they learn about life.
This is a moving and well-written novel that will delight both foodies and readers looking for an inspiring story about life and love.
THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS
THE IGNORANTS, ÉTIENNE DAVODEAU
If, in addition to being a foodie, you are a fan of comics and graphic novels, you cannot miss this work. ‘Los Ignorants’ combines the personal story of two friends: the author, a renowned French comic creator, and a winegrower friend, who delve together into the world of wine and comics. Through their conversations and experiences, the reader discovers the secrets and passion behind winemaking, while being immersed in the personal reflections of the characters.
The work stands out for its simple and natural narrative, and for the beauty of its drawings, which recreate in detail the landscapes of the French wine region in which the story takes place. In addition, the comic addresses universal themes, such as friendship, creativity, passion for an activity and learning, which makes the work very accessible and attractive to a wide audience.
HOTEL YEARS, JOSEPH ROTH
The story follows the life of Gabriel Dan, a man who has spent much of his life in hotels and has become a regular guest at a wide variety of establishments. The novel is a reflection on life and loneliness through the detailed description of the different hotels and the people who inhabit them, presenting a fascinating and poetic image of the world of hotels.
Filled with moving and sometimes tragic moments, the story makes the reader feel deeply involved in the life of the protagonist and in his struggle to find meaning in his existence. If you like emotional stories and rich, poetic prose, this novel is for you.
SOUTH OF THE BORDER, WEST OF THE SUN, HARUKI MURAKAMI
One of the most distinctive hallmarks of Murakami’s writing is the detail he goes to when he describes Japanese recipes and dishes in his stories. In “South of the border, west of the sun”, it is the cocktails that take center stage since Hajime, the protagonist of the story, runs two night bars where, after years of separation, he reunites with an old childhood friend.
Here you can find the poetic narrative style of the Nobel Prize in Literature, with elegant and emotional language, creating a dreamlike atmosphere that envelops the reader in the story. In addition, the author explores universal themes such as love, loneliness, and the search for happiness, which make the novel easily identifiable for any reader. If you like emotional stories and are interested in Haruki Murakami’s work, you should definitely give this work a try.
SOUTH OF THE BORDER, WEST OF THE SUN
LA CUINA DELS ALTRES CATALANS, XESCO BUENO
In recent years, Catalonia has undergone a very important demographic transformation with the arrival of new people from different cultures and, therefore, different cuisines. This is a cookbook that explores the culinary diversity of Catalonia through the cooking recipes of its immigrants.
Starting with a bit of context about immigration in Catalonia, the book immediately delves through its chapters into specific cultures, such as Arab, Chinese, Pakistani, or Peruvian, among others, including recipes, photographs, and interviews with chefs.
This testimony shows the culinary diversity of Catalonia and how it has been enriched over time with the contribution of different cultures. The recipes are easy to follow and well-presented, making this a good cookbook for those who want to experiment with new flavors and cooking techniques.
LA CUINA DELS ALTRES CATALANS
A DAY AT EL BULLI, FERRAN ADRIÀ, JULI SOLER Y ALBERT ADRIÀ
A classic that is still essential for all fans of haute cuisine that offers a unique and detailed look at the operation of El Bulli restaurant during a full day. It’s a fascinating look behind the curtains of one of the best restaurants in the world, but it also offers a glimpse into the creative genius of Ferran Adrià.
The first part of the book is more informative and shows us the organization and operation of the iconic restaurant in Rosas. The second, much more visual, contains impressive photographs that document the creation of the dishes and the culinary experience that was lived in what was once the best restaurant in the world.
A work of art that perfectly combines informative content with visual presentation, truly transporting the reader into the unique culinary experience that is El Bulli.
A DAY AT EL BULLI
LIQUID INTELLIGENCE, DAVE ARNOLD
‘Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail’ dives into the science behind mixology, providing detailed information on how ingredients, tools and techniques affect the final result of a drink. It delves into the chemistry behind basic ingredients like water and ice and progresses to topics like distillation, clarification, and carbonation, including detailed recipes.
But what really sets this book apart is its focus on experimentation and creativity. Arnold encourages readers to think outside the box and use advanced techniques to create innovative and unique cocktails.
Although it is a book designed for professional and advanced amateur bartenders, it can also be greatly appreciated by those with an interest in the science behind mixology.
ELEMENTOS DE DIRECCIÓN HOTELERA, PILAR MOLINA
Published in 2022, it is an up-to-date and detailed guide for those seeking to understand the basic principles of hotel management and how to apply them in practice. The book is divided into two parts: the first focuses on hotel operations management and covers topics such as human resource management, finance, marketing, food and beverage operations, and quality control. The second part focuses on strategic management and covers topics such as business planning, project management, and strategic decision-making.
Each chapter of the book begins with a theoretical introduction to the key concepts, followed by practical examples and case studies to illustrate how these concepts are applied in hotel management. In addition, it includes a series of practical activities and quizzes to help readers consolidate their learning.
It is an excellent option for those who are starting their first professional steps in the sector but also for those who want to refresh and update concepts.