It’s almost time to say adiós to Olé, San Antonio at the Pearl
Olé, San Antonio, the Pearl’s summertime festival, turned the near-downtown complex this season into a Spanish-themed wonderland.
Since its start on June 15, Pearl restaurants and venues have hosted a series of flamenco dances, cooking classes and tapas tastings to honor the city’s 300-year history and Spanish heritage. The party is not over yet, but it is winding down with a series of events before ending on Sept. 16.
The festival’s three pillars — food, music and dance, and art and architecture — will carry through its last month.
On Wednesday, the festival will continue its master cooking courses at Hotel Emma with a class led by Austin-based chef Pablo Gomez on conservas, or tinned seafood.
Two other Olé-themed master classes will be hosted at Hotel Emma before the festival’s end, with one course on cutting and tasting ham on Aug. 22, and another on Spanish cheese on Sept. 6. Each master class costs $25.
The festival also will host its final “Intercambio Dinner” event, during which Pearl restaurants host chefs from Spain to create menus that combine distinct techniques and cultures. On Aug. 29, chef Jeff Balfour of Southerleigh and Madrid-based chef Jorge Fernández will serve a co-created dinner. Tickets are $150.
Ole’s three-month-long tribute to Spanish performance will finish with its final “Tablao,” a Spanish tradition of dinner and dancing. As he did for the tablao events in June and July, San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez will give a paella demonstration at Pearl Stable and serve guests a menu of tapas, salads, Spanish wines and cocktails on Sept.14. The event also includes a concert by Luis Gallo, a flamenco and jazz guitarist from Spain. The ticket for this event costs $150.
Gallo will make several appearances during the festival’s last days. He will give a free concert on Sept. 3 in Pearl Park and again on Sept. 6 when he joins guitar students from UTSA for the Pearl’s monthly First Thursday Market event.
More Spanish music will be featured at the “Canciones: Sounds of Spain and South Texas” concert Aug. 31 in Pearl Park. Spanish artists will perform alongside San Antonio guitarist Joe Reyes.
Music will also be the star of the show during the festival’s grand finale, “Mariachi Lab,” on Sept. 16 at Pearl Park, a showcase of local mariachi talent. Headliners Luis Gallo and Vanessa Del Fierro from Las Coronelas, an all-female mariachi group, will bring the summerlong Spanish festival to a sunny end.
For more information, visit atpearl.com/ole