A Spanish olive fiesta @Foodat52
How many people you know would open their homes to complete strangers, allow said strangers to snoop around their treasured possessions, share their kitchen and then feed them (aside from Come Dine with Me, that is!)? I think you have to meet John Benbow and his partner Emily of Food at 52. This unique cookery school housed in John and Emily’s beautiful home near King’s Cross, London provides a truly warm and intimate setting for some very well organised cooking classes.
Food at 52 is currently teaming up with Olives from Spain to run an exclusive Tapas with Spanish Olives cookery course. The four hour course will teach you how to cook authentic and mouth-watering tapas dishes using the finest olives from Spain and other traditional Spanish foods. I was fortunate enough to win a place on this course whilst I was at the Food Blogger Connect 2011 conference in August. I was kindly allowed to invite K along.
As the title of the class suggests, the theme of the evening was Spanish food with a focus on Spanish olives. Omar Allibhoy who has teamed up with Olives from Spain to spread the word about the great taste and versatility of Spanish olives, was on hand to demonstrate how to cook up a few quick dishes below.
First dish we cooked was fried queen olives with manchego and drizzled with honey.
Braised Andalusian chicken in Spanish olive sauce.
Amanida salad – a typical Catalan salad made here with some chorizo, Serrano ham, griddled sardines and asparagus, fried whitebait, artichokes, tomatoes, olives and lettuce.
Pan-fried sea bass with Spanish olives, piquillo peppers and dry Sherry served with a warm potato, chorizo and olives salad
Lastly, we started and finished the evening with chocolate and Spanish olive truffles. This was the surprise dish of the evening for me as I did not expect olives to work with chocolate. Throw some orange zest into the mix and what you get as you pop one of these delightful balls into your mouth is a first hit of slight bitterness of the chocolate followed by the savoury taste of olives and then sweetness from the orange zest. Omar whipped up the truffles at the beginning of class and four hours later, we enjoyed them with coffees after working hard for a satisfyingly delicious meal.
I met a couple of other bloggers there who have also written up on the wonderful evening – check out Going with My Gut and The Food I Eat for more photos and recipes from the evening including the chocolate truffles.
A big thanks to Olives from Spain, Food at 52 and Omar Allibhoy for hosting an educational and delicious evening.