Sinfully Sense Filled

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What happens when a guy from San Francisco, who never went to cooking school, ends up in tapas filled Barcelona? He unpacks his knives and apron and opens up a Michelin-rated restaurant that becomes the talk of the tapas town. Or so I heard, and ever so intrigued grabbed my shades and tip-toed out the door to meet this legend while jet lagged Husband snored away in bed. At least he finally made it even though I was making it out the door again with that devil on one shoulder telling me to make a run for it before he came to, and the guilty little angel insisting I stay with my man. Oh, the guilt of it all—but only temporarily.

A quick cab ride later, and I was thoroughly guilt free and hugging chef Jordi Artal, who may have never worked in a professional kitchen, let alone a critically acclaimed restaurant, but certainly looked critically at home at Cinc Sentits, which far exceeded its acclaim too. I have no idea how to say “wow” in Spanish, but that’s what it was, starting with the aperitif, notably called the Cinc Sentits Shot, and what a shot it was. A layer of Cava foam, over a layer of cream, over a layer of maple syrup, over a grain of sea salt, and buzzed of course in one shot with my head bursting and eyes rolling afterwards. Like I said — wow!

And it just got better, from the squash soup that has ruined me for any other soup and the foie gras that puts all the geese in France to shame.  And scorpion fish?  Seriously, who even knew there was such a thing and possibly the best fish I’ve ever had.  Let’s just say, the guy knows how to turn even a pesky stalker like me into a stalking fan, and every course, well, if I could have hauled it all back to Laguna, I would have, including Artal, who definitely had all  my senses going.  Thus the name Cinc Sentits which aptly means “five senses” in Spanish. But my sixth sense was telling me I better hightail it back before Husband came to his senses.

But, oh, that Iberian suckling pig and citrus fruit cake with vodka ice. Just thinking about it makes me sensed out all over again, and understandable why it was named one of the six best restaurants in Spain and one of the 80 best in the world. But Husband still my number one–and still snoring away when I slipped back.

Some senses never change…..fortunately.


  1. Annie Speck

    February 15, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Your photos of food are over-the-top wonderful!! xo

  2. Jordi Artal

    April 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Was fun to meet you Sandie — all the best with your stalking adventures!

  3. thefoodstalker

    April 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Great to see you stop by Chef Jordi! Loved doing the post on you and your establishment. Best to you and your family.

With an Italian background, she cites her Mother and grandmother ( Mamie ) as the major influence of her love for food.  Yes, homemade pasta hung from the clothesline in the kitchen and rolling 100 meat balls for a holiday dinner was the norm.  Raised in Pennsylvania. she spent time in Atlanta, Georgia and ultimately settled along the stunning coast of Laguna Beach, Ca. Self taught in everything, she learned to appreciate the amazing flavors, scents and uses for exotic herbs and spices and applies her knowledge to cooking today. Despite enjoying other creative endeavors like painting, photography and clothing design, she realized she would never love another career the way she loves all the stories surrounding food.  And it's capturing those stories that has not only become her greatest passion but a culinary drug worth passing around!  After all, food is a shared experience and no one better to share it with than the entire world. And thus the Food Stalker was born, utilizing all that passion and her fearlessness to capture even the most impossible stories. It's one thing to write about food, but far more exciting to actually capture it and all those stories that make every scent come to life.  And once she sets out, there's no stopping her, because no one follows that scent better than her---and no telling where she'll end up next.  

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