We visited the opulent apartment that is home to interior architect Lázaro Rosa-Violán (@lazarorosaviolan) and fashion retail and brand consultant Devin Winter in Barcelona's Eixample neighborhood to find out how they combine their respective cultures to celebrate the holiday season in style. Originally hailing from New York, Devin's domain is the kitchen and he explained how tasks are divided up and how he made his own (delicious) contribution to Lazaro's family tradition.

'We spend a lot of time traveling throughout the year, whether it´s for work or to see friends, so when we are home either in Barcelona or in Costa Brava we want to share that time with friends. The way that I like to share is through food and for Lázaro it's through his spaces. Since I come from a different background I love mixing all 'my influences' into a meal and celebrating with friends. Thanks to Lázaro our house is always ready to host, he tweaks the final touches with flowers and candles and I put on the music. Automatically people dress up and stay for hours, dancing, drinking and enjoying until the late hours.'

'Holidays for us are about family and friends so if Chanukah coincides with Christmas I prepare a Chanukah dinner for the whole family on one of the nights we are together and light the menorah. If I cannot make it to New York for Passover I will prepare dinners the whole week at home - one year I must have had 100 people over that week!'

In the kitchen at parties

'I could spend all day in the kitchen either to work, to eat and of course to cook without going anywhere else in the house. When people arrive they can find me in the kitchen with the island filled with bowls of different olives, 'gildas' which are toothpicks with a pippara/guindilla, olive and anchovy from the Basque country, potato chips, maybe mojama or Cecina, 'tacos' de salmon (not Mexican tacos! Simply cut squares of smoked salmon or a beet cured salmon), brandade… basically things that I can buy, open, plate and serve! I'm focusing on the main meal and I love things to 'pica pica' without adding more work.'

Make a statement

'I invite people over between 9 and 9:30 and since everyone gravitates to the kitchen I usually raid a high-end deli of delicious small things and put them on the island to snack on. We sit down for dinner around 10:30. Usually we are eating and staying around the table until 2am and by that point I take out the dogs and go to bed. It depends how much time I have but it’s usually simple, the best quality and very colourful! In a cocktail party like this I need it to be seasonal, cold or room temp and extravagant. I don´t like a uniform table of little hors d'oeuvres, I prefer big! Food people can get their hands on, like the King crab!'

Party house

'I jokingly have to remind Lázaro we need some function for day to day at times! What´s nice about our house is that the living area is separated by a long corridor, so the socializing part of the living room, dining room and kitchen which leads onto the terrace all are connected and flow in and out.'

Preparation is everything

'Always have the wine glasses ready and the bottles ready to open! The warmest way to welcome people into your home is with a ´cheers.´ Have the kitchen cleaned, dishes washed and put away and only what you need to do last minute laid out and organized. Avoid dishes that must be made in the moment unless it´s a summer barbeque. You are there to enjoy the party as much as everyone else.'

'At Christmas it's three days of very organized meal planning! Since Lázaro is the eldest of seven brothers and sisters, including their spouses and children, we are a lot of people so Lázaro's father makes a schedule of meal jobs to help Lázaro's mom. At every meal a team prepares the aperitif of jamon, manchego, mojama and nuts. On Christmas Eve we typically begin the meal with ¨Gambas¨ from Palamos and then the roast turkey. After dinner another team prepares all the Christmas sweets: different types of turron, blando and cagatió. On Christmas Day we have the traditional ¨escudella¨ which is a long simmering bone broth with chickpeas, vegetables, different meats, meatballs and at Christmas time only, very large pasta shells. You can even see life-size statues of the pasta shells around Barcelona at Christmas!

The next day is called Sant Esteban. Traditionally we eat canelones filled with the leftover meat from Christmas Eve and covered in a creamy béchamel sauce. Lázaro's family, no doubt because there are so many, made this into a canelon cooking competition. I take it very seriously. My first year without ever cooking a canelon in my life, but having been living in Barcelona a few months and tasting them around the city, I recreated ones I loved from Can Villas of Duck Confit and foie gras filling, cooked down in beer and topped with a black truffle béchamel sauce. After 16 years of Lázaro's mom winning year after year, I was the first person to beat her! Thankfully they still loved me after that.'

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