Great Romesco personalities

Joan Ruiz i Porta (Tarragona, 1863 – Barcelona 1934). He was a prominent poet, publicist, researcher and historian. Through a beautiful open letter published in the Tarragona newspaper El Ferrocarril on April 28, 1892, he invited the gastronome Ángel Muro to taste a Romesco in Tarragona. The invitation was accepted and Muro would become from then on an important supporter of the Romesco. Photo credits.

Ángel Muro Goiri (Madrid, 1839 – Bouzas, Vigo, 1897). He was a famous gastronome, writer and engineer. In 1892 he was invited by Joan Ruiz i Porta to visit Tarragona to taste a Romesco. In relation to that visit, Muro wrote a brief review in La Vanguardia on May 4, 1892, which became the first known explicit and relatively extensive reference to Romesco in a written medium. Two years later, in 1894, Muro wrote an exhaustive and successful treatise on the spanish cuisine of the moment (El Practicón. Tratado completo de cocina al alcance de todos y aprovechamiento de sobras), in which he did not forget to enthusiastically include the Romesco from Tarragona. Currently, it is considered that this was the first time that a recipe for Romesco de Tarragona has been published in an editorial media. In the drawing, Muro caricatured by Ramón Escaler in 1892. Drawing credits.

Antoni Gelabert i Casas (Barcelona, 1911 – 1980) was a lawyer, wood engraver and great promoter of xylography. A great fan of Romesco, in 1963 he wrote El llibre dels Romescos, a very delicate and cultured treatise illustrated with woodcuts related to Romesco made by himself. This fantastic book has become the basis for the graphic image of Romesco. Photo credits.

Antoni Alasà i Domingo (Barcelona, 1893 – Tarragona, 1981). He was an outstanding journalist (he signed his articles with the pseudonym Máximo Burxa). Republican activist, he went into exile in France, returning to Tarragona in 1943. Very active in the context of the cultural world of the city, from the Sindicat d´Iniciativa i Turisme he promoted the Masters of Romesco Contest since 1951. Alasà became a great lover of Romesco, contributing intensely to its dissemination through the publication of titles such as El Romesco (1951) or La cocina de mi tierra (1959). In the photo appears Alasà (on the right) being appointed Tarragona’s adoptive son in 1972. Photo taken from the book Més personatges tarragonins que he conegut (J.M. Alegret, 2004, Arola editors).

Antoni Adserà i Martorell (Tarragona, 1926 – 1983). Bookseller and teacher. In 1966 he founded the Adserà bookstore in Tarragona, a historical and reference establishment in the city, still in existence. A great lover of Romesco, in 1981 he published a fundamental book: El romesco. Platos de romesco y romasquets de las comarcas tarraconenses, a book that in 1997 would be revised and reissued in catalan. Photo credits: from the book Recull Antoni Adserà i Martorell 1926-1983 (Ed. Estac. Rec. Bibliogràfica “Margalló del Balcó”, 1997).

Antoni Panadès i Aiguadé (Tarragona, 1934 – 2021). Journalist and radio broadcaster of great dynamism in the cultural world of the city. He founded the Ateneu de Tarragona and co-founded Món Camp Tarragoní, promoting the Romesco from these forums and other press media in which he collaborated. Photo credits.

David Solé i Torné (Tarragona, 1967). Outstanding local chef specializing in seafood cuisine. Currently he is the owner of the Barquet Restaurant in Tarragona. He has written various books. and he is a regular collaborator in different media.
In 1993, Solé wrote Amb la mar al cor. This book offers a series of very affordable local seafood recipes, at a time when there were not so many Internet or bibliographic resources. This particular text is especially relevant for the history of Romesco, since in its section dedicated to this dish, Solé publishes a series of ten fundamental Romesco recipes that were based on the same ans easy romesco chopped-base for six people, which made those totally affordable recipes for any cooking enthusiast. In 2003 Solé dedicated an entire book to Romesco (El Romesco), which became a detailed treatise on this stew, with a great diversity of recipes. Photo credits.

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