After almost literally everybody and their dogs ditched me for a cooking workshop in Madrid, literally the day before I decided to bite the bullet and go by myself, so I bought my ticket on Saturday night, barely 12 hours before the event, a promotion of a Japanese-Spanish shop and its products based on rice flour. The shop is called “Komeko Sin Gluten”, which translates as “Gluten-Free Rice Flour”.
The event happened in a venue-for-hire in Madrid, and consisted in three distinct parts: a small market in which I would have spent a lot if I had not got a few samples with my ticket, a cooking workshop and a taiko concert. I arrived early due to Sunday having awful public-transport connections, and I arrived in Madrid an hour before the event even opened, and then we got a delay with the start of the workshop because someone was missing. During that time I got to sit around among aaaall the Japanese people around, including the head drummer of the taiko group, , whom I admired a lot since I watched him in HA·YA·TO: Drum Masters.
The small market was comprised, of course, of gluten-free products, especially Japanese ones, most of them can be found online, yay. I decided not to buy things upfront as the workshop included a sample of products, and I wanted to buy what I did not get. In the end, I did not have to buy anything because I got next to everything!
Anyway, the cooking workshop:
- Komeko crêpes: We made the crêpes on portable pans. There was a mini drama as the cook refused to start until we had chopsticks to flip the crêpes, and I was amused at first until I realised how convenient they actually were. While he was worried that I ahd any problems with the chopsticks, I’m happy to report that I was not the clumsiest in the class! After they were cool, we filled one up with ‘pastry cream’, banana and whipped cream for presentation – but we got to take the rest home and I tried them with chocolate. Serious improvement!
- Steamed banana sponge cake: this was really interesting to make, and also really easy – it involved mixing all the ingredients in a plastic bag, and then cutting a corner off the bag to pour that into little trays so we could steam it. That was… neat, and a team effort.
- Japanese green tea (matcha) ice-cream: Double team effort! (≧▽≦). As the paste needed time to freeze, we actually observed the chef prepare the ingredients and ate the one that had been prepared in the previous workshop.
We had a snack with our crêpes and the matcha ice-cream. Then we got the haul of goodies: ramen and spaghetti noodles, komeko, komeko with glutinous rice, and komeko with cocoa, well worth the price (10€) I had paid for the whole workshop… Talk about promotion ☆⌒(ゝ。∂).
Afterwards, I headed downstairs for the taiko concert. Enishi Taiko is a Spanish group, and Keita Kanazashi usually collaborates with them rather often. The concert was, of course, more humble than the one with HA·YA·TO, but it was still a lot of fun.
Afterwards, I got Kanazashi to sign the HA·YA·TO DVD and the picture I had with him from that time, which was really cool. Furthermore, the main drummer in Enishi Taiko remembered me from the X Gran Exposición de Ikebana y Semana Cultural Japonesa session, and another session I took at their headquarters.
I had thought that I would be eating in Madrid but as I had snacked on the komeko products I was not hungry at all, so I decided to head home. On the way towards the station I found this really cool fountain.