Manel VehíConsultor de coctelería
Q: These day yours work focuses on running the family business, the Boia cocktail bar in Cadaqués, where you’re part of the fourth generation, and your consultancy work. How much of your time do you spend on each one, and how do you enjoy these areas?
A: During the summer season I’m at Boia Nit in Cadaqués, but on some days I do consultancy work at various places, such as the Alabriga hotel in S’Agaró, where I started this summer and I go there once a week. I also go to the Takatak Bar in San Sebastian once a month, and soon I’ll be advising the Grand Hotel Central in Barcelona and the Principal Hotel in Madrid, and I’ll going there three days a month.
Q: You were responsible for creating the cocktail menu at Big Kokka. What do you think you have contributed to the drinks menu of this Nikkei restaurant?
A: I’ve designed a very special cocktail menu all of my own, with cocktails that are all very easy to drink, containing products that widely used in Peruvian and Japanese cuisines, such as chilli, coriander, ginger and nori seaweed, among others. The aim is to highlight the flavours in the dishes prepared in the restaurant. The menu reflects my experience in Latin America and Japan.
Q. In the past you’ve worked great deal in South America, and in Peru, which accounts for 50% of the flavours at Big Kokka, and even in Japan. I suppose what you learned in South America and Asia inspired you to reduce this menu…
A: Over the last six years, I’ve spent the winters acting as a consultant for businesses in various countries in Latin America, where I’ve been lucky to discover products from all the areas I’ve visited. In fact, all those countries are part of the Boia Nit menu, and I’ve been using products from all of them that are little known in Spain, such as the naranjilla and the tonka bean from Colombia, the soursop from Costa Rica, tamarind and chilli from Mexico, and the yuzu, shiso and umeshu from Japan.
Q: What cocktail do you recommend to accompany a good sushi, some Lima causas, a ceviche and a good Asian rice?
A: For sushi, the Ciudad de Perú, a cocktail that is like a liquid ceviche. If it’s combined with a nice piece of raw fish, that will give it the final touch.
Lima causas must be accompanied by the Gari Sour, which contains a mixture of Japanese products including nori seaweed and ginger. The cocktail will give the dish the special Nikkei touch.
For ceviche, I recommend the Latino, a refreshing cocktail made with avocado and pineapple, which go very well together because of their taste and texture.
For Asian rice I recommend a Haiku – a cocktail with sake, citrus junos and lychees, which when combined are a perfect fit for all this preparation.
Q: When you go out, what do you drink?
A: When I go out for dinner I love to drink a good wine or a good champagne. After dinner I like to have a good citrus or fruity cocktail – it depends on how full up I feel.
If I feel more lively and I’m out for a few drinks, I only order rum with Coca Cola and a twist of orange, which is a cocktail that any bar can do well.
Q: And when you want to have a good cocktail, where do you go? Tell us your five favourite cocktail bars you drop into when you’re not working.
A: If I’m in Barcelona, Boadas (C/Tallers, 1), Old Fashion (C/Santa Teresa, 1), Paradiso (C/Rera Palau, 4), Ascensor Bar (C/Bellafila, 3) and Creps al Born (Passeig del Born, 12).