Sunday, July 31, 2016

Adios, Don Alba

'Paella king' Alba dies at 89

Just read that Don Anastacio de Alba passed away yesterday, 31 July 2016. He was one of my defining culinary icons, up there in my pantheon with only Keith Floyd. While Bourdain, Ramsey, and Zimmern give me lots of inspiration (and envy), Don Alba and Floyd have influenced my palate and cooking so profoundly.

Don Alba's restaurants gave me my first tastes of Spanish food. Along with Mingoy's in the South, Alba in Makati and Quezon City defined the Spanish side of my palate, quickly converting me to the religion of aceitunas, chorizos, and paellas. My beloved tuhod y batoc (a Filipino-Spanish stew of ox knee cap and chuck in brown sauce), which I fell in love with at Dulcinea, was invented by Don Alba. My Dear and I held our wedding reception at his restaurant along Tomas Morato, and the Boy had his first taste of paella there shortly after his first birthday. I am learning to make paella (and soon tuhod y batoc, hopefully) using his cookbook.

Adios, Don Alba. Gracias.

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