Category Archives: Spain

question time

Having gone on about how awesome Jose Pizarro is, I thought I may as well put my money where my mouth is and got my people to contact his people.  After lengthy negotiations and hardball tactics, Chef Pizarro cleared his busy schedule and answered a few questions for me!  

Yeah, OK, not much negotiating took place, in fact Hannah at Nourish PR was absolutely delightful.  Take it away:

Thank you, Jose for taking the time to answer my questions.  I am a huge fan of Spanish food and drink (you and your food especially!) and have lots to ask.  SO ..!

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it’s good to talk

… and eat.  Yeah, the eating bit’s best.

I recently stumbled upon a retweet by Jose Pizarro regarding an upcoming event at the Jewish Museum in London.  It had sold out but they kindly suggested I emailed in case of any returns.  Lo and behold, I managed to get my grubby mitts on a pair of tickets, hoorah!

Camden was dark, cold and wet but the thought of an hour or two in the welcoming arms of Pizarro and culinary legend Claudia Roden was good enough for me.

¿Dónde está el padron?

¿Dónde está el padron?

We were ushered into the warm and took our seats along with around 60 women of a certain age (plus a few men).  Claudia came prepared with sheets of paper which she basically read from while Jose discussed his culinary ideology and, more importantly, cooked some food on stage.  Little, tasty morsels were handed out and Q’s were A’d.  The starter of salmorejo (from Roden’s book) was gorgeous and when asked to explain the dish, he replied “this is Claudia’s recipe, I make it slightly differently.  It’s made with tomatoes, garlic, bread, topped with hard boiled egg.  And Serrano ham”  Cue gasps.  “Ah!  Do not worry, there is no ham tonight!”  Cue laughter.  Yep, the pork jokes kept coming with talk of Iberico pigs and chorizo.  Next up was a demonstration of Mrs Pizarro’s potato omelette.  Of course, everyone’s mum makes the best [insert regional dish here] but we got a taster along with some sea bass which was jam tasty.  A keen fish eater, my first taste of sea bass was delightful and our chef explained that you cook the fish skin side first.  Frying it this way gives the skin a crispiness of course but it also keeps the flesh moist – if you cook the meaty side first, the juices will come out and the flesh become dry.  The skin protects that from happening.  He gave an example with the sea bass he was cooking: three minutes skin side and about a minute on the other.  Perfect. Read the rest of this entry »


adventures in cookery pt 2

Having a borderline obsession with Spanish food and liking Rick Stein, I was thrilled at the prospect of his new show as it aired on BBC 2 last year.

Rick Stein’s Spain saw the Steinmeister travel across my favourite country visiting the regions of Valencia, Extremadura, Andalucia and Catalonia to name a few.  As always with Rick you get a bit of poetry here, a reading from Don Quixote there and reminiscences of childhood holidays.  A little later in the year, the series was followed up with a Christmas Spanish Special in London where he cooked a seasonal feast for all the people he’d met along the way and worked alongside Jose Pizarro.  Man, I love JP, he’s my favourite and totally awesome.  It also helps that after recently tweeting my intent to cook a pork stew recipe from his book, he replied “love it!” and followed it up the next day with “how was your stew, did you enjoy it? :)”  YES, IT WAS VERY VERY TASTY, THANK YOU, CANIBEYOURFRIENDPLEASETHANKYOU?

Jose Pizarro with Rick Stein

Ahem!  Anyway, my reason for telling you all this is that whilst glued to the TV, vegging out on the sofa and making Homer Simpson style drooling sounds, I made notes on what recipes I’d like to cook.  Come on, Fanny, stop imagining how lovely this would all taste and do it yourself!   Read the rest of this entry »


adventures in cookery pt 1

So, along with discussions of food on the telly, I thought it might be nice to share our culinary experiments with the world.  Have you ever been galvanised by Galton or motivated by Madhur?  I have.  I’ve mainly been stimulated by Stein on his recent Spanish trip – we had a whole day of making tapas.  More of that later.

In the meantime I shall leave you with the thought that this rock n roll chick is about to embark on the creation of her very own wine cellar.  Not just any old wine cellar.  One that, quite literally, rocks…

Yep, some Shiraz chez Fanny.  Not sure why the Sauvignon is from New Zealand though. Soon to be added to the collection, Motorhead, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Rolling Stones and Motley Crue! 

Most of these seemed destined to remain in my cellar, gathering dust – not because I think they’ll be worth anything but I don’t like red wine 😦  It seems a good Cabernet is what all the rockers are dinking.

For those about to booze, I salute you  \m/



no way jose

Jose Andres has a programme currently showing on PBS.  I happily stumbled upon this in the listings and thought I’d give it a whirl.  I watch anything involving Spanish food.

I’ve spotted Senor Andres on Top Chef and he is known for his enthusiasm which manifests itself in much arm waving and finger pointing.  The show focuses on a specific area of Spain each week where he visits cafes, restaurants and local farmers.  An animated map pops up every now and then to show where he’s been and takes us back to his current home, Washington DC.  This interrupts the flow of the programme as he doesn’t take the usual step of cooking in situ but creates his own version of a tapas classic in his US kitchen then exclaims “LET’S TAKE YOU BACK TO TENERIFE!”  Cue arm waving, exit stage left.  That seems to be his thing – he ends many a scene with “MMMMMMMMM!  That was BEAUTIFUL!” and storms off.

He also seems to be the luckiest man alive as every single thing he eats is the best EVER.  Much lip smacking, eyebrow furrowing and groaning signals that he likes his food.

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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in PBS Channel, Spain, Travel Genre