HAPA is an investigative project of Imogen Wells and Sandy Ho that focuses on the cultivation of our land and understanding of what we eat through conversations with the farmer. The project offers a place to celebrate the coming together of the North and the South, the Farmer and the Chef, the Diner and the Earth.
Imogen and I came across the term HAPA in our initial search for a concept title and right away it was a clear fit with our philosophy. At the core of our idea we wanted to bring stories of real seasonal food from local producers with us to the plate.
During the two months I spent in Barcelona, we travelled to many regions in Spain including famous wine region, the Priorat and also the northern region of L’Emporda. We went from town to town opening our senses to some of the most incredible local produce and traditional ways of cooking.
We tasted cheese from the mountains of Montsant, Olive oil (from 1500 year old trees) of Capafonts, and Anchovies at the Festival de L’Anxoa in L’Escala. We grinned with excitement and clapped along as these Spanish communities came together to dance the Sardana and feast on specialities of their town.
This expedition inspired us to create dinners that introduced people to the flavours of Catalan Spain. Our dishes of slow cooked pork with figs, hazelnuts, charred eggplant and fresh goats cheese were a celebration of Catalunya’s many unsung culinary heroes. And it has allowed us to invigorate a new appreciation for sustainable food in a traditional backdrop.
HAPA will further develop as we both continue our own discoveries of the world and meet new farmers, chefs and diners. It’s a concept that I am really proud to be part of, as I cannot ask for a more inspiring culinary companion than Imogen