Madrid Fusión is an international gastronomy fair aimed particularly at chefs, but also at other industry professionals. As well as the main exhibition area, the highlights are the cooking demonstrations and master classes, wine tastings and competitions, and seminars on a wide range of topics from new cooking techniques to environmental issues.
This year’s event is the 15th edition and runs from the 22nd – 24th of January, and is extra special for Sevilla because the City Council and Tourism Board is promoting the city and its tapas, including a Tapas Jam Session “show cooking” on the opening day. This fabulous video features the four bars taking part in this presentation and I am so proud to be able to say that they are not only four of my favourite bars, chefs, owners and teams, but they are also my friends. I’d love to be there to cheer them on, but I have a previous work obligation so will be there in spirit instead.
The featured bars are: La Azotea (chef Santiago González) Cañabota (chef Marcos Nieto), El Gallinero de Sandra (chef & co-owner Nacho Dargallo) and Lalola Taberna (chef & owner Javier Abascal).
Watch the video – it’s gorgeous.
Another day, another sherry tasting, although in this case not a standard, formal kind of tasting. This was, in fact, the first edition of the Feria de Vinos Generosos Andaluz (Andalusian Fair of Fortified Wines), held at Voraz on the edge of Parque de los Principes in Los Remedios.
It was a nice day for it too; one of those balmy spring days that’s perfect for an afternoon out of doors, meeting the great and the good of the world of sherry, old friends, and our hosts Juan and Jeanine of La Azotea, while sampling a good selection of top class wines represented by bodegas such as Lustau, Hidalgo, Barbadillo, Sacrista AB, Gongora, and others.
For a 10€ entry fee you could sample as many wines as you liked, and enjoy the snacks on offer. These included lots of tasty jamón, various cheeses, and a massive potaje of white beans and prawns that was prepared outdoors by the Voraz chefs – just the ticket after a few sherries. If you were still feeling peckish you could pop into Voraz and order a tapa or two.
We also got to see a ronqueo – the precise and skillful cutting up of a tuna by Rafael from La Almadraba (you’ve seen Rafael here before). Performed by an expert, it took less than 30 minutes to turn a 180kg fish into its component parts, ready for the kitchen. Moments later it was also being served as complimentary snacks.
I love these kind of events that let you speak directly to the producers/distributors and allow you to sample a variety of wines in a relaxed and casual ambiance (from “just a drop please” to “I’ll have more of that!”). Hope this becomes an annual event.
carrillada – aka stewed pig’s cheeks
Carrillada is one of those very traditional dishes that can range from rustic homestyle comfort food to exquisite gourmet delicacy. The pig’s cheeks are slow-cooked on low heat for several hours (chef Claudia at the now-defunct Bar Jano used to cook hers for nine hours!) and the result is tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. The best of the best is made from the acorn-fed Iberian black foot pig, and five of the best that keep me going back for more can be found at these restaurants:
La Azotea, Bodeguita Romero, Eslava, Las Golondrinas and Albarama.
Or you could try making them yourself.
Where is your favourite spot for carrillada ibérica?