On 22-24 May 2008, traders from London's Borough Market displayed a range of top quality produce at La Boqueria, saying they very satisfied with the welcome they received. Some time later it was the turn of 30 Boqueria Market stallholders to visit Borough Market. This exchange consolidated the twinning activities begun in 2005.
Among the most satisfied of the Borough Market traders was Ian Hartland, whose stall, Mrs. King's Pies, continues in a family tradition that began in the town of Melton Mowbray in 1853, making pork, deer and rabbit pies, among others. This long history has given his produce, made from top quality English ingredients, certain renown. Ian highlighted "the warm welcome we have received from La Boqueria traders, and the opportunity presented by this initiative to see first-hand the excellent support for traders provided by La Boqueria".
Peter Gott, of Sillfield Farm, spoke of his 34 years experience in the market business, specialising in meat products. He stressed the importance of "the quality of the produce, which can only be achieved through small-scale production", in his case, of Cumberland pork in the northwest of England . Peter, whose view is shared by other traders present at the event, criticised "mass production and the regulations imposed by the big supermarket chains, which are forcing many small businesses to close and lowering the quality of produce".
The event began with an official opening ceremony with Barcelona's deputy mayor and IMMB chair Jordi W. Carnes, the UK's consul general in Barcelona, David Smith, the chair of the Boqueria Market traders association, Manel Ripoll, and the chair of the Borough Market Trustees, Camilla McGibbon.
Master class from chef Thomasina Myers
The class held by chef Thomasina Myers in the Aula de Gastronomia de La Boqueria, the market's cookery classroom, on Friday 23 May, had a very high turn out.
She cooked three different dishes, while describing, in very clear Spanish, itself the result of having lived in Mexico for several years, the ingredients and the steps that were to be followed. Over the course of the two hours it took to prepare and taste her recipes, she commented on the importance of Spain and Catalonia in the world of gastronomy, adding that since tasting our Arbequina olive oil, she has never looked back, using it in all her dishes, because nothing else compares.
Myers was the first ever winner of the BBC's Master Chef Goes Large . She is now executive chef at the Wahaca restaurant in Covent Garden, London.