Madrid Fusion 2018

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.

Pando Jamón Cutting Masterclass


Who could resist an invitation to attend a jamón cutting masterclass? Not me, that’s for sure. This was the first of many proposed events by Pando Restaurants & Catering for their #GastroEscueloPando initiative, and what a great way to start. Also, just in time for Christmas, when many families purchase a jamón to see them through the holiday season. Though as we all know, proper jamón cutting is an art form, requiring knowledge, skill and – just as important – practice, practice, practice. And while none of us walked away from the event with finely honed cutting skills, we did take away a lot of new information that will be very helpful for those planning to buy a Christmas jamón.


The masterclass was led by professional cortador Victor Fernández. It was a very relaxed and casual setting and everyone felt comfortable asking questions while watching Victor in action. We learned about the different types of Ibérico ham, the different cuts, the different flavours, as we enjoyed plates of jamón being passed around the room, along with glasses of Glorioso rioja. Some brave souls even got up to try their hand at cutting under Victor’s watchful eye.


Pando has recently renovated its calle San Eloy 47 location, and has also updated its menu. Worth checking out.

Pando Food Photography Workshop

pando foto workshopLast week I was invited to attend a food photography workshop for food bloggers and journalists, hosted by Pando Restaurantes and Gourmedia. It had been awhile since I’d been to the Pando central location in calle San Eloy and I was impressed by the changes to the premises, which were modern without being modernist, and comprising an indoor “terrace” at the front, a large bar area, an interior patio, and a dining room. The photography workshop was held in the bar area, and our tutor for the evening was professional food photographer, and my old friend, Manolo Manosalbas.

pando foto workshop manoloManolo Manosalbas in action

During the course of a fun and informative evening we got to practice our photographic skills on (and later eat) five dishes from Pando’s new menu created by chef Manolo Mediavilla, selected to present a variety of challenges to the budding photographer. Manolo gave us some tips and hints on how to add a variety of perspectives and points of view to our photos, to maintain awareness of lighting and background and give greater depth to photographs, and kept watch over our efforts.

At the end a copy of the book Macuro Tapas, with fabulous food photography by Manolo, was given away as the prize in a raffle, for the further encouragement and education of the lucky winner (who happened to be my pal Peter from @SVQconcierge).

pando photo workshop peterYou can see the results of the participants’ photographic endeavours on Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #gastrofotopando. Here are my best shots from the evening…

pando foto workshop ensaladillaEnsaladilla de gambas con mayonesa de manzanilla

pando foto workshop mejillonesMejillones con coco y curry

pando foto workshop sopaSopa de cigales con lomo de salmonete

pando foto workshop presaPresa Ibérica de Bellota, soufflé de calabaza, crema de boletus

pando foto workshop biscochoBiscocho de remolacha con crema de payoyo

Pre-Feria at Taberna del Alabardero

pre feria 2016

If you can’t wait for the Feria de Abril to start (this year it runs from the 12-17th) you can whet your appetite at Taberna del Alabardero, which is hosting is first ever Pre-Feria event. The gorgeous Salón del Magnolio has been decked out with colourful paper lanterns and banners and will be offering feria-style lunches (13.00 – 16.30) and dinners (20.00 – 23.30) until next Sunday the 10th. There will be live music and typical feria food (tortillas, fried fish, Ibérico meats) will be freshly made-to-order in the “caseta’s” pop-up kitchen, which will also be preparing various paellas during mealtimes. To encourage a proper feria “ambiente” a dinner for two will be awarded to one of the couples that come dressed in vestido de gitana and traje corte.

pre feria

Pre-Feria en el Magnolio
April 6 – 10
Taberna del Alabardero
Zaragoza 20
Tel. 954 50 27 21

Tapas Route in Zona Calle Feria

feria de tapa

This weekend you can enjoy specially chosen tapas with a small beer for a set price of 3€ during the Ruta de la Tapa in Zona Calle Feria. Twenty bars are participating and you can also win a prize by voting for your favourite tapa. See the Calle Feria Facebook Page for details. It’s a fun (and economical) way of getting to know the tapas bars in this area.

feria tapas mapclick on map to enlarge



Sevilla Tapas Week

stw 2015It’s that time of year again – Sevilla Tapas Week!

From November 13 – 22 you can enjoy special tapas for a special price (3€ tapa + drink) at selected bars around town. You can also download the app to find the bars nearest you and follow the Sevilla Tapas Week Facebook page to participate and win prizes. Buen provecho!

Sevilla Tapas Week

seville tapas week

Today I was at the press conference announcing this year’s Sevilla Tapas Week, which will take place 6-16th November.

More than 160 bars and restaurants are participating (40 more than last year) and there will be three tapas categories: traditional, gourmet and “sabores de provincia” (not quite sure what that last one means).  People can try the special tapas on offer and then vote on line for their favourites using the SWT free app.

sevilla tapas week press conferencepress conference at El Rinconcillo, Sevilla’s oldest tapas bar

On Thursday and Friday (November 6-7th) you can check out the first Gastronomy & Networking event, being held at the Convento de San Agustín. Also make sure to download and follow the Sevilla Gastronomy Heritage Tapas Guide free app, which is a near and dear project that I helped create.

Sevilla Tapas Week
6 – 16th November

Seville Gastronomic Heritage Guide

sevill gastronomy heritage

Introduing Sevilla’s first Gastronomic Heritage Guide to tapas (and the best places to find them). The first printing of the guide is out and about and you can also download the free APP, which has both Spanish and English versions. It’s a perfect way for both locals and visitors to discover the diverse and delicious gastronomy of Sevilla, one bar at a time. Handy maps and recipes are also included in the APP.

“Establishments suggested come from a popular survey conducted by Tourism Board of City of Seville website between April 15 and September 15, 2013, as well as from a selection prepared by a technical commission of experts composed of Julio Fernández, Chef of the Michelin Star restaurant Abantal, Fernando Huidobro, president of the Andalusian Academy of Gastronomy and Tourism, Javier Compás, wine tasting technician, journalist and gastronomic writer, Shawn Hennessey, best gastronomy Twitter 2013 and author of Sevilla Tapas gastronomy tours, and Paco Sánchez, historic bar-restaurant owner in town, former owner of Bar Giralda and Bar Estrella. As a rule, these establishments are limited to the traditional and touristic heart of the city, although some other establishments are also included beyond that area because of uniqueness, quality and tradition.”
~ Visita Sevilla

I am very pleased and proud to have had a part in the creation of this very special guide.

app sevillaDownload the APP at Visita Sevilla

Sherry & Tapas Tasting Menu

sherry tasting menu vineria
It’s International Sherry Week and, along with offering my Introduction to Sherry & Tapas Tours, I also worked with Vineria San Telmo owner Juan Tarquini on this fabulous Sherry & Tapas Tasting Menu which I was invited to try yesterday along with friends and fellow bloggers Fiona @Seville_Writer and Rai @ComiendoporSVQ. The four-course menu features four sherries from four different bodegas:

  • Jamón Ibérico de Bellota and cured sheep’s cheese
    Manzanilla La Guita
    Bodegas Hijos de Rainera Pérez Marín
  • Bacalao a la Roteña
    Amontillado Botaina
    Bodegas Lustau
  • Pluma Ibérica with curried pumpkin
    Oloroso Gobernador
    Bodegas Hidalgo
  • Chocolate cake (by @Gollerias)
    Pedro Ximénez Nectar
    Bodegas Gonzalez Byass

sherry week vineria
The Vineria San Telmo has long been one of my favourite tapas bars in Sevilla with consistently good food and an excellent wine list. This is a beautifully balanced menu with well-matched wines, and great value at 25€. You can try it yourself at the Vineria until Sunday June 8th. Be sure to book ahead and let them know that you’ll be wanting the menu.

Vineria San Telmo

Paseo Catalina de Ribera, 4
tel. 954 410 600
Open 7 days a week 11.00 – midnight
Kitchen closed 17.00 – 20.00 with cold snacks and desserts available

sherry tasting fiona rai juanThe aftermath! Fiona, Rai and Vineria San Telmo owner Juan