The other day Twitter came up with something rather wonderful, (I was supposed to be writing, but, you know…Twitter) via @LondONtheinside, there was the offer of a FREE cookery lesson with José Pizarro and The Good Life Embassy. FREE I tell you!
There were three time slots on offer:
10.30am – 12pm Spanish Brunch
1pm – 2.30pm Spanish lunch tapas
3pm – 4.30pm Spanish ‘tea’ and cocktails
I decided that tea and cocktails sounded right up my calle. Food and booze, were promised (the confirmation email ask me to bring ‘a healthy appetite’) and of course a demo by the lovely José. What’s not to love?
I’ll start by apologising for the quality of some of the photos, which could be candidates for Dimly Lit Meals for One, (this is an hilarious blog, check it out). My camera phone/hand co-ordination wasn’t at its best, but I hope they give you a flavour of what was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
So last Saturday afternoon I arrived to be ticked off the list. The Great Little Embassy had taken over the whole of Pizarro (194 Bermondsey Street, SE1) for the occasion and there were lovely people from both the restaurant and company looking after us (thanks – you were all fabulous!).
We learnt that everything we were going to eat and drink on the day would be using the wonderful Olive Oils of Spain (did you know that there are more varieties of olive in Spain than anywhere else? You do now.)
First off we were offered a choice of either Olive Oil Fizz or Olive Oil Martini. I went for the martini:
It was glorious, citrussy with a good kick and the olive oil floating on top actually worked. Anyway, it didn’t last long. In that picture you can see the glossy grassy-green olive oil in the pot next to it. It was delicious and we were given crusty bread to dip in…and dip in we did.
‘Tea’ or La Merienda was various sandwiches, with jamon and tomato, smoked salmon, tortilla and finally, my favourite, squid with aioli. I’ve afraid they were scoffed down at lightning speed, so no pics I’m afraid.
Then the highlight, a demo from José and the head chef Dan (I think – those martinis are strong!) about how to make a ‘proper’ tortilla – big tip, it shouldn’t go in the oven, flip it over on a plate and slide back into the pan…….
José being animated and charming (and a bit blurry)
Finally (after another martini – hic!), we had olive oil cake, topping with vanilla ice cream:
On the Sunday, I decided to recreate my own version here:
My quantities were not exact, but there is a proper recipe here from Felicity Cloake which includes refer to José’s and also José’s website here has lots of other amazing Spanish recipes if you’re feeling inspired.
But the nice thing was that José seemed to think it look alright, which was good enough for me!