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Category Archives: Yotam Ottolenghi

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 »