Photo by Tara Stevens
Molly Malcolm arrived in Barcelona from New York in 1998. In the Big Apple, she’d done various stage productions while moonlighting as a waitress for large events companies to pay the bills. When an opportunity came up to visit Barcelona for a month, she leapt at the chance, thinking it would be a good chance to regroup before diving into her career stateside. Fast forward 13 years and she’s been here ever since.
The lunch: Sagàs
Sicilian sardinas fumadas with artichoke hearts on ciabatta, Báhn Mì (a Vietnamese baguette stuffed with fresh herbs, roast chicken, crunchy vegetables and chilli sauce) and Bons de Porc, an inside-out Chinese-style pork bun stuffed with cochinillo (suckling pig).
How come you ended up staying in Barcelona?
Right after I arrived, I landed a job in a commercial for La Caixa and things took off from there. I thought to myself, I can either go back to New York and compete with a thousand other ‘me’s’, or carve out a niche for myself here and learn another language, which was something I had always wanted to do.
What are you working on now?
There’s a show coming out in the fall on Telecinco—a biopic called Tita Cervera, La Baronesa, which is about life in the Thyssen family; I play Señora Davidoff. I’m also narrating a 10-episode documentary by the American organic supermarket Whole Foods, which is effectively about saving the planet. We cover water issues, solar and wind power and food innovation, specifically aquaponics [the fusion of aquaculture and hydroponics, the process of growing plants in sand] as a potentially crucial solution to feeding the world in the future.
What are your thoughts on the food scene in Barcelona these days?
The biggest challenge is finding a place that is consistently good. I live in the centre of town so I have a couple of favourite places that are my mainstays. I like places where you feel like you’re at home, it’s cosy and you’re treated personally.
Why did you choose Sagàs for lunch today?
I wanted something low-key but different. One of my favourite things on earth is a great burger, but it’s nice to get a bit of variety, so the idea of a gourmet sandwich bar works for me.
Molly’s top tips:
El Atril (Carders 23, tel. 93 310 1220) is a bit of a second home for me. The menú del día is always varied, service is great and the price is right (€10.50). On top of that, it’s a beautiful location with a lovely little terrace. I love the tender little filets of kangaroo with a slice of foie on the top, and the scallops with almond-cream sauce. I always have a crisis on a Monday when it’s closed and we have nowhere to go.
Sagàs. Pla de Palau 13 (Born), tel. 93 310 2434. Open: Sunday to Thursday, noon to 1am; Friday and Saturday, noon to 2am.