A join venture between Fragata (the leading Spanish olive and Mediterranean food brand) and Spanish Chef Omar Allibhoy (over at Tapas Revolution) could only be a marriage made in foodie heaven. And I was lucky enough to get invited to an evening showcasing this partnership. People, it was going to be seven whole courses prepared by Omar – each one using at least one item from the Fragata range. You can understand why I turned up with a whole load of excitement and an empty belly right?
Fragata are a Seville based family run business established in 1897. They produce a moreish and large range of Spanish olives and along with various other antipasti including piquillo peppers. They are a favourite kitchen staple for millions of Spanish families and now mine. My kids gulped down their olives marinated in garlic in less than the blink of an eye and before asking ‘more, more, more, please’.
Omar is on a mission to make traditional Spanish cooking more accessible. His cook book Tapas Revolution (now on my wish list) is filled with recipes which show that tapas can be rustled up at home, from inexpensive and widely available store cupboard staples like items from the Fragata range.
We kicked of the evening with some Sangria and endless bowls of Halkidiki and Kalamata olives in a rosemary, garlic and chilli marinade. I had to force myself to stop to eating the olives as I remembered there were tons more courses to come.
Pan con tomate – which was incredible and simply toasted bread rubbed with garlic cloves, tomato and olive oil alongside some Iberico ham.
Next up was the mackerel escabeche (flavourful marinated fish) which contrasted perfectly with the accompanying hot yellow peppers and Ajo encurtido garlic cloves salad. My other half was most impressed when I described this dish to him.
Then there was the Pimenton piquillo peppers stuffed with wild mushroom and a piquillos and manchego cheese sauce. This was the right sort of creamy, light and bursting with seriously good flavour.
And then there was this. Morcilla black pudding with green olives, capers and pistachio pate topped with piri piri peppers. All served on a bed of sweet apple mash. Definitely my favourite – a perfect mix of flavours that just melted in my mouth. This is first on my to make at home list.
I had to run off to catch a train so unfortunately I missed the last 2 dishes which were pork cheeks braised with olives and capers, and the rather lush sounding hot chocolate and Seville orange marmalade fondant. I kept on day-dreaming about that chocolate all the way back home.
I really enjoyed the food and the entire evening and my pantry now holds some of Fragata’s extensive range of products so I can easily make my own tapas at home. My kids have gladly had their snack olive pouches in their lunchboxes.
However, when I am next out and about in Westfield, Shepherds Bush- I will also make sure to pop into Tapas revolution and grab myself some tapas cooked by the rather fab and talented Omar Allibhoy.
Lucky us – having the best of both worlds.
Thanks to Leyla Kazim from thecutlerychronicles.com for letting me use four of her pictures in this post. And thanks to Fragata for inviting me along to this tasty evening.