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The 6th IAPR International Conference on Biometrics

June 4 - 7, 2013 Madrid, Spain

Social Program
ABC Serrano

Spanish cuisine is, quite simply, wonderful. Paella, the wines of La Rioja and tapas are all the range in restaurants around the world, and Spain’s celebrity chefs are undisputed global superstars. These icons of the Spanish kitchen are merely the tip of an extremely large iceberg; few countries can match Spain’s gastronomic variety, innovation and sheer culinary excellence.

For Spaniards, eating is more than a functional pastime to be squeezed between other more important tasks; it’s one of the life’s greatest pleasures, a social event to be enjoyed with friends and one always taken seriously enough to have adequate hours allocated for the purpose and savoured like all good things in life.

ABC Serrano terrace

The banquet dinner will start with an aperitif at the terrace of the historical building ABC Serrano (Calle de Serrano, 61): June is the perfect time for eating outside, with its warm nice weather, and crowded streets after sunset. Afterwards, dinner will be served by the famous Spanish chef Pedro Larumbe at the restaurant at ABC Serrano. Finally, a live flamenco show will delight us.

Flamenco Show

Voices filled with anguish and pain in cante jondo, rhythms of happiness and joy in sevillanas and rumbas. Flamenco is all that and so much more, always loaded with passion and intensity. These qualities confer the genre with an expressiveness that moves all viewers, regardless of where they're from or whether they understand the language. Flamenco makes feelings flourish. Who hasn't felt moved by a dancer tapping her feet to the rhythm of a guitar or by a flamenco singer's passionate cry? Madrid is the capital of flamenco.

With roots in Indian, Arabic, Spanish cultures, flamenco dance is known for its sweeping arm movements and rhythmic feet stomping. Flamenco dancers spend a great deal of time practicing and perfecting the often difficult dance. Although there is no single flamenco dance, dancers must follow a strict framework of rhythmic patterns. The steps a dancer performs are dependent on the traditions of the song being played. Perhaps the greatest joy of flamenco dancing is watching the personal expressions and emotions of the dancer, which change many times during a single performance.

In any case, flamenco is a unique Spanish tradition, with a charm to it not found in any other place or celebration in the world. When visiting Spain, being involved in such a show is a must: nothing compares to the magic attached to the bailaores (flamenco dancers), to the moment,… and you will be able to take part in it during the banquette dinner.

Tipical spanish tapas

In the welcome reception, you will be able to enjoy a selection of pinchos, closely related to tapas, with some high quality wine. It will take place at the main hall of Escuela de Minas.

Many would argue that tapas are Spain’s greatest culinary gift to the world. While devotees of paella and jamón can make a strong counterclaim, what clinches it for us is the fact that the potential variety for tapas is endless.

School of Mining Engineering of Madrid

Anything can be a tapa: a handful of olives, a slice of ham and cheese on bread, a piece of torilla de patatas (potato and onion omelette). Other common orders include: boquerones en vinagre (fresh anchovies marinated in white vinegar, which are delicious and tangy); albóndigas (good old meat balls); pimientos del padrón (little green peppers from Galicia – some are hot and some are not); gambas (prawns, either done al ajillo, with garlic, or a la plancha, grilled); chipirones (baby squid, served in various ways); morcilla (black-pudding)… the list goes on.

Spaniards invariably accompany their meal with a Spanish wine. Probably the most common premium red table wine you’ll encounter will be from La Rioja, in the north, smooth and fruity. Not far behind are the wine producing regions of Ribera del Duero, Navarra, Somontano or Valdepeñas. For white wines, the Ribeiro wines of Galicia are well regarded, as well as Albariño: crisp, dry and refreshing. The Penedès region produces whites and sparkling wine such as cava; while Sherry is a unique wine of Andalucía. All the above-mentioned varieties of wine can be found anywhere in Madrid.


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