Paul Surridge: a tapas revelation in Barcelona

Paul Surridge has had a stellar career working as a designer for the likes of Prada, Calvin Klein, Jil Sander and Burberry. He has also been design director of Calvin Klein menswear and creative director of Roberto Cavalli and Z Zegna. Today he is the design director of Italian company Corneliani’s Circle collection, which has a mission to develop a sustainable approach to menswear

My partner is Spanish, so I have an expert at hand, and the verdict is that the tapas at Canēte is really outstanding. Apart from the great quality of the ingredients – apparently, it gets its fish and seafood fresh from Catalan fish markets and uses locally-grown, in-season vegetables – it’s what it does with them.

Tapas can be a little basic. In fact, I remember once being in San Sebastián and thinking, please can I have something other than bread to eat! Don’t get me wrong, the tapas there is often very good and high quality – sometimes even Michelin level – but they do these dishes called pinchos that are always served on bread. Bread can be really good, of course, but when everything is served with it, it’s sometimes too much. Tapas can be similar – essentially basic dishes that are pretty much the same everywhere and have little imagination.

But at Canēte, it’s all about imagination – about making the tapas seem fresh, inventive, unexpected. The place itself is, however, unpretentious. You sit at big tables with benches, and there’s something very appealing about the combination of functional dining and excellent food. To be honest, this is no real secret – Canēte’s reputation is well-known, so you have to book. But I’d strongly recommend you do if you are ever in Barcelona.

Canēte, Carrer de la Unió, 17 08001, Barcelona, Spain; telephone bookings: 932 703 458; barcanete.com  

You can follow Paul Surridge on Instagram here: @paul_surridge

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