PeccataMinuta in Palma

It was a night full of “minute sins” the other night in Palma at the PeccataMinuta event organised by Chefs(in). There were a lot of people, but the question on everyone’s lips was, and still is, “was it successful?” And that’s what we are going to analyse here today.

Was PeccataMinuta in Palma successful? Or was it “much ado about nothing”?

Blogger, English teacher and foodie Fran Muñoz summed up the event in a tweet on Twitter:

 

What is PeccataMinuta?

If you haven’t heard of PeccataMinuta, it is a wonderful initiative set up by Chefs(in), an organisation dedicated to promoting Mallorca’s chefs and their diverse gastronomy.

PeccataMinuta, translates as “minute (tiny) sin” and refers to the delightful bite size tapas that were on offer at the event, created by some of the island’s top chefs and their kitchens.

Friday night was the third of these PeccataMinuta events and was held in the Mercado del Olivar in the centre of Palma. The event took place on one of the busiest weekends in Palma’s calendar; during the San Sebastian celebrations.

The PeccataMinuta Event

As I’ve said, the PeccataMinuta event took place in the Mercado del Olivar in the centre of Palma. As it was night time, the market was, of course, closed for business – apart from a few savvy business owners who had decided to open late to catch a bit of extra business from the passing stream of hungry and thirsty “sinners”.

The representatives of each of the chefs and their restaurants at the event set up their make-shift kitchens at different posts around the market so that they could prepare their tapas and serve them.

Each “minute sin” cost 2.50€ and the tickets had to be bought in advance so that no money had to change hands in the venue itself, clearly with the intention of speeding things up.

The doors opened at 8pm and the tickets for the tapas could be bought in advance from kiosks set up outside the market from 7pm.

Our small group arrived at about 7.30pm and the queue for the tickets was already massive; we had to wait for over ten minutes.

In fact, later I heard someone say inside that the queue for the tickets at about 8.30pm had been all the way back to the Plaza Espanya, which I seriously doubt, but you never know.


View Larger Map

The Chefs Involved in PeccataMinuta & Their Sins

There was a good line-up of popular chefs from the island, all eager to present their tiny sins to us sinners in exchange for our tickets. (Click on the chef’s name to be taken to their Twitter page. No link = no Twitter.)

Marc Fosh of Simply Fosh was offering:

  • Iberian pork skewer with BBQ szechuan sauce
  • Veal tagine with cous-cous and coriander yoghurt

Tomeu Martí of Arume was offering:

  • Special Thai soup with cuttlefish
  • Croquette of potato and salmon tartar with almonds

Joan Marc of Joan Marc Restaurant was offering:

  • Cod “bomb” with apple alioli
  • Roasted cannelloni with wild mushroom velouté

Tomeu Torrens of Can Amer was offering:

  • Marinated ray with seasonal veg and orange vinegar
  • Oxtail stuffed with duck pate and potato gratin with courgette in a red wine sauce

Marta Rosselló of Sal de Coco was offering:

  • Stuffed flute of loin of black pig, crunchy artichoke, onion confit and two sauces
  • Foie terrine with pineapple chutney and powdered ensaimada

Andreu Genestra of Andreu Genestra Restaurant was offering:

  • Chicken and mandarin magnum
  • Ensaimada and sobrassada sandwich with pumpkin chutney

Igor Rodriguez of Ummo (closed) was offering:

  • Candy-duck, orange gel and palo
  • Marinated sardine, tomato and piparrak mini sandwich

Marga Coll of Miceli was offering:

  • Cannelloni of “denton” fish with Mallorcan veg and pumpkin sauce
  • Mini hamburger of black pig, sobrassada and Mahon cheese

Guillem Suñer of Hotel Can Bonico was offering:

  • Lamb confit with foie, pumpkin and orange
  • ‘Sea and Mountain’ mini hamburger with vegetable chips

Miquel Gelabert of Can March was offering:

  • Cod brandade with red pepper gel and black olives
  • “Fora Vila” chicken marinated with vegetables with honey and oranges

Victor Garcia of La Fortaleza was offering:

  • pork, sobrassada and pedro ximenez
  • veal, sweet potato and truffle

Pep Lluis Mayol of Cal Bisbe was offereing:

  • Terrine of crunchy Iberian pork rib on creamy potato, miso, fennel pesto, prawn powder and barbecue sauce
  • Green tea yoghurt with cubes of apple, sweet breadcrumbs and a touch of citrus

Santi Taura of Restaurant Santi Taura was offering:

  • Fried purple carrot with quail egg
  • Pineapple and sobrassada “coca” with coconut ice cream

Each of these tapas could be paid for using one of the tickets purchased outside. Wines, cocktails and beers were offered inside the venue, priced the same as the tapas at 2.50€ and paid for in the same way. Offering the drinks were: Rafa Martin of Brassclub and Beer Lovers from Alcudia. There was also a stand with wine.

Was PeccataMinuta Successful

So now we get to the point of the whole post – the nitty gritty: was PeccataMinuta successful? And how can it be improved for next time?

Well, I can say with absolute certainty that PeccataMinuta was successful.

It was successful in that many tapas tickets were sold, many people attended and there was a lot of noise on the social media front.

I personally think that one of the reasons for the event’s success was its location and its timing: the Mercado de Olivar is right in the centre of Palma and the event took place on a night when the people of Palma were already going to be out of their homes and on the street for the San Sebastian celebrations. None of this was an accident, but rather was part of a very carefully laid plan.

There’s a “but…”?

Of course there’s a “but…”. If there wasn’t a “but…” the post would read “we all had a very nice time at PeccataMinuta and tried a lot of great tapas.”

Which we did, don’t get me wrong…

But….

You ever get the feeling that something is really disorganised? You ever get the feeling that despite a lot of promotion and planning, the execution just hasn’t gone to plan?

That was the feeling of most people I spoke to that night. You see; the place was packed. I mean absolutely rammed so that you couldn’t move and you couldn’t eat. If you lost your friends, God help you. Have you ever been to an event where someone has made a huge mistake when they estimated the turn-out and you feel like you are going to be stampeded?

Well this was like that – but with hungry people trying to juggle plastic plates of hot food (and this is Spain too, don’t forget – we don’t queue, we just mob).

Arume just wasn’t organised

I first realised that things weren’t going to go very smoothly when we went inside at 8pm and made our way to the Arume Restaurant stand to try the salmon croquette. There was already a mob of people waving their tickets at a chef standing there wringing his hands and shaking his head, looking like he’d love for the floor to open up and swallow him. Nothing at Arume was ready.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s really no excuse to keep people waiting like that when the doors have only just opened. Remember; each place was only making two tapas each and we are talking top, professional chefs.

Would it not have been logical to make a batch of croquettes, or whatever you were offering, at about 7.55pm so that by 8pm you can be cooking the next batch already?

These are people who easily control full dining rooms in their restaurants, when whole tables have to be served together in a professional manner with a full menu in play. How could they not manage two tapas at 8pm at a stand? There is absolutely no excuse.

Having said that, The salmon croquette from Arume was one of the best “sins” I tried all evening.

The PeccataMinuta Experience just went from bad to worse

The Arume stand was around the edge of the market. When we got into the centre it was absolute chaos. We had a cocktail at Brassclub and just couldn’t manage to drink it without being jostled from one side or the other.

We queued and battled for an extraordinary amount of time for the stuffed veal from Can Amer, and I thought that the tiny girl who was serving might break down in a heap from the sheer pressure of the situation, along with the chefs.

Until I saw the sorry state of Can Amer, I didn’t think anything could have matched the disorganisation of Arume.

We spent most of the evening either queuing, trying to fight our way around the saturated market or trying to track down friends that had got carried away on a tidal wave.

Marc Fosh: are you kidding me?

Then there was the disappointment of Marc Fosh.

Marc Fosh has been one of my favourite chefs for a long time: I was a great fan of his when he was Michelin Star chef at Reads Hotel in Santa Maria and continue to be a fan of Simply Fosh and his shop, Fosh Food. But I was disappointed by the Fosh effort on Friday night:

  • The event was from 8pm until midnight. By 9.30pm the veal skewer of Simply Fosh was finished! That is NOT organisation in any sense of the word.
  • Therefore we tried the lamb tagine instead. It was tasteless and bland. I highly recommend that Marc Fosh take his staff on a little trip to Morocco to discover the aromas and spices that go into the dishes there.

PeccataMinuta wasn’t all bad

It wasn’t all bad:

  • We tried some great tapas, including the salmon croquette from Arume, the gin fizz cocktail from Brassclub and the ice cream from Santi Taura, which they gave us by accident because they were so disorganised.
  • We saw half of the people of Palma, which means we don’t have to make a special trip to meet up with people.
  • Some of the “kitchens” were the height of organisation and were running very smoothly, especially the Simply Fosh kitchen (despite the food being so mediocre).

PeccataMinuta: Killed by its own Success?

The response to PeccataMinuta was overwhelming: the number of food critics, bloggers and photographers that I encountered was enough to make anyone sit up and pay attention, not to mention the PalmaTrip team.

There’s a saying in Spanish which I heard many times throughout the evening. People would shake their heads, look down and say: [loosely translated] “The PeccataMinuta has been killed by its own success.”

So basically, it was a great idea but the fact that it was so popular meant that people we not able to enjoy it.

And in fact, someone who gets this message across so beautifully in her post about the same event is Vanessa Sanchez. I highly recommend you read it – it’s in Spanish, but one click on the “translate” key will soon see to that: Peccata Minuta o la Gastronomy y sus Excesos.

On Purpose?

Between my companions and I, during our analysis of the evening, we wondered if PeccataMinuta had been so busy on purpose. You see, there had already been two of the same event before this one: the PeccataMinuta event last year in Santa Catalina Market in Palma was also saturated with the same problem; people couldn’t move, dishes were finished long before closing time…

In Inca, earlier this year, the event attracted double the prevision of the town hall according to one of the organisers of PeccataMinuta, who told me directly via Twitter (using a Twitter account that did not represent the official @chefsins Twitter account):

 

And guess what: the Santa Catalina venue was the same size venue, with approximately half the number of chefs of this year. There is no way that anyone with a brain, let alone an events organiser, did not see this coming. Don’t you agree?

[Since the publication of this post, Miguel Angel Payeras, one of the organisers of PeccataMinuta, has felt the need to point out that the above paragraph is incorrect, as he says that they used an area much smaller in Santa Catalina Market than in Mercado del Olivar (please see the inserted tweet below).

 

InMyShoesTravel would like to apologise for any mistake made in measurement of area of the two markets – the reason for this mistake was that on Google Maps the areas look the same.]

And what’s more: the prevision of people at this event was 5,000. There were way more than 5,000 there. But have you ever been in the Mercado del Olivar? You cannot fit 5,000 people in there comfortably eating and drinking on a normal day, let alone when half of the aisles are closed off for make-shift kitchens.

The more I think about it, the more it seems that the chaos was created on purpose: the smaller the place, the busier it looks. The busier it looks, the more successful the event seems.

Am I wrong?

Having said that, let me just flip the coin here a moment: what other suitable venue is there in the centre of Palma that can accommodate this kind of event? We need somewhere that is large enough to hold  so many people but also somewhere that has power points and can be made into a kitchen – no, several kitchens. I can think of many places just outside Palma, but in the city centre itself? I’m struggling.

Otherwise, the logical thing to do would be to hold an outdoor event and set stalls up in one of Palma’s many squares… but, how do you cook things? We’d be talking about a lot of generators.

PeccataMinuta‘s Response to Social Media

Not until 14:39 on the day after the PeccataMinuta event did Chefs(in) officially answer their paying customers’ negative feedback on Twitter – over 14 hours after the event had ended. They suggested that they have the best chefs, the best product and an audience that wants to enjoy. And they directed their readers to a post on their blog about how successful the event had been, which you can read here.

 

Later they acknowledged that all had not been as perfect as they had expected and they added the following: That they will try to improve their organisation for their next event.

 

However, long before the paying public received those responses to their protests about the chaos during the event, they were treated to an unofficial response from one of the persons behind Chefs(in).

Read this:

 

Okay you can’t. I forgot, it’s in Mallorquin. Let me translate:

This tweet is written by one of those persons behind Chefs(in), Miquel Angel Barrios, from his personal Twitter account, in response to the negative press he, and the event, was receiving via social media during the event:

“Spain is NOT the place where everyone is a football trainer. Now EVERYONE is an organiser of gastronomy events. Everyone knows a lot.”

And this little tweet, which has been re-published and analysed by the who’s who of gastronomy until the cows come home, is the perfect example of how any criticism, constructive or otherwise, has been taken by the people behind the scenes of the PeccataMinuta event: with, as they say in Spain, “mala leche”.

Another perfect example of that is from Miguel Angel Payeras, another of the persons behind Chefs(in), who, since this post was originally published, has been keen to point out a few minor mistakes (that you can see rectified above). He has been quite clear in his implications that he does not believe any of my criticism of the event to have been constructive. See for yourself:

Miguel Angel Payeras has contacted me regarding some of my criticisms about the event in this post. But he has not once mentioned any of the positive feedback you can find here. However he did begin his tirade of protestations by complimenting the post as a whole:

 

I’d love to know if you went – would you go again? And what do you think?

Filed Under: fairs in mallorcafeaturedfood and drinkmallorcamallorca gastronomyStreet FoodWhere I Am Right Now

About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.