“I am not a fan of the copy-and-paste generation,” admitted economist-turned-restauranteur, Claudio Hoyos. He loathes the mass production of food, which often leaves consumers clueless about where it comes from. For Hoyos, the traceability of all products is key, and his recently opened restaurant, El Mercader, uses only organic, seasonal and local produce. Uniquely, the menu also mentions the provider of each product, and diners may ask to see proof of any product’s source. But why all the fuss about locally sourced products? “It makes for better food,” said Hoyos. “People are not idiots; you can’t cheat them with foods containing high levels of preservatives and additives, which is inevitable if you use products that have been flown or shipped in.” With his own allotment in Parc de Collserola, it’s clear that Hoyos pours his heart and soul into advocating the Slow Food philosophy throughout the restaurant. It has the seal of approval from the ‘Kilometre 0’ campaign, it is certified by the Slow Food Association and he even chose the location due to its proximity to his home. If you’re looking for great quality platillos of traditional Catalan cuisine, you need look no further than the corner where Passatge de Mercader meets Carrer de Mallorca to find this endearing little gem.
El Mercader de l’Eixample. Mallorca 239.