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On a recent TV shoot, I was reminded that in Spain’s Andalucía region, revelry and religiosity go hand in hand. The same passion and energy dedicated to partying is put into long, solemn, religious processions that clog the narrow streets of its towns and cities.

We were filming a dinner at a restaurant in Córdoba with Isabel, a charming local guide who talks about food with the passion of a mother talking about her children. With the olive oil, the lighting, and her love of the cuisine all just right, every plate seemed to twinkle and shine. The meal was made to order for TV: a montage of Spanish delights, from the roasted almonds and spicy green olives that hit the table automatically, to the local salmorejo (like a thick, bright orange gazpacho), boquerones (anchovies), fried eggplant, and “Arab Salad” with cod and delicate orange sections.

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