Nervous and restless
It was with butterflies in my stomach that I boarded the plane to Barcelona for another round of the World Cup of Cookbooks. I was involved in winning in Perigeux 2001 and I remember how big and dizzying it was. After my total victory in Sweden over all the cookbooks, I knew that I had good opportunities to win some prize or mention this year as well. But even when I got out of the taxi outside the hotel and saw Michael Broadbent, my biggest wine-idol, wearing a white tuxedo, standing in the entrance and at the same time heard from the taxi driver that Real Madrid lived at this particular hotel a few weeks earlier, I felt like a little lost child in the big world and wondered what I was doing there. I snuck up to my room without facing any glances that would have forced my restless body and brain into socializing and unpacked my luggage. I randomly slipped out into the rain under a green hotel umbrella to some local restaurant to give myself to the now cult Catalan cuisine. Some exciting flavors, some friendly people and a suitable bottle of Les Terrasses from Priorat later I was out on the town in a pulsating cosmopolitan spawn and the night was late.