Last night's grand opening of the new Porcelanosa showroom in North Bethesda was a star-studded affair. The high-end Spanish tile, kitchen and bath firm went all out by inviting Bethesda's most famous chef, José Andrés, and supermodel Valeria Mazza.
If you noticed 4 searchlights in the sky over North Bethesda... that's where I was. Porcelanosa rolled out the red carpet - literally - for guests at the door. Inside was a spectacular showcase of Spanish cuisine and craftsmanship.
With television shows, cookbooks, and a growing empire of 5-star restaurants, James Beard Award-winning Chef José Andrés has made the best of Spain well known to American diners. Most people now know that Spain produces cheeses, ham and wine that are among the world's best - and many would argue, the best.
But in this time of cheap-quality products, mass-produced in cheap labor centers in Asia, we may have forgotten that Spanish craftsmanship is outstanding in other areas, too. And always has been. In the age of conquest, scoundrels and swashbucklers, where did you want your sword to be from? Toledo, Spain, of course! Today, Spain designs and manufactures some of the most innovative and advanced trains - with sleek, modern designs - and exports them to run on West Coast American rails.
Now, Porcelanosa brings this skill and modern artistry into your home, with Spanish tile and fixtures that can transform any kitchen or bathroom into a design showcase.
No wonder so many interior design, remodeling and architecture professionals were in the house. I spotted Anthony Wilder of Bethesda's Anthony Wilder Design/Build across the room, for example.
There was an open bar and plenty of delicious tapas from Jaleo. The chef even brought a special dish to try: The Liquid Olive. I had a Spanish white wine.
If you didn't think you needed a kitchen or bathroom makeover when you entered the showroom, you probably did by the time you left. All of the latest features are available at Porcelanosa, but with the quality and craftsmanship lesser brands leave behind.
There was also a guitar duo playing Spanish and flamenco-style music throughout the evening. It was very good, and you can hear it on the video.
Speaking of which, here it is! Exclusive video of José Andrés and Valeria Mazza at last night's event:
Both of them were very gracious, and I thank Porcelanosa for the invite, and for setting everything up so that I could bring you this exclusive video from the event.
The first photos are up at:
More to come!
Don't forget, you can meet José Andrés yourself right here at Bethesda Row on December 7, when he is having a cookbook signing at Jaleo Bethesda. One of his cookbooks, autographed, would make a perfect holiday gift for any of the aspiring chefs on your list.
Enjoy the video, and have a great weekend!