This week I felt very privileged to gain an insight into what makes a Foodish experience so special!
Alaine’s passion to connect people with food and each other is both impressive and inspiring.
She has chosen the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets as the home for her purpose built kitchen.
It is designed to give guests the optimal hands-on experience. Creating beautiful food using carefully explained simple techniques, guests learn to bring out the best in the locally sourced, high quality produce.
Alaine has combined practicality with a relaxed dining space in which to enjoy the created dishes in the company of fellow cooking companions.
And she has gathered together some of her food loving friends to help her bring her vision to life.
Offering a variety of events and classes for groups and individuals, it is a wonderful opportunity to learn and meet new people or enjoy old friends by booking a class and relaxed meal together.
Workplaces also use Foodish for team cooking events and it would be an excellent Christmas party activity. Canberra Cooking Circles had a fabulous time there earlier this year using bush tucker ingredients, with Narelle Happ.
Everything is done is great style. From the nibbles and drinks to welcome guests, to the table setting and serving ware with which to enjoy the finished meal.
On the evening Alaine invited me to Foodish, she had designed a Spanish Tapas meal. So Sangria was the natural way to begin.
Alaine then ran us through the fresh produce and other ingredients we would need to create our dishes.
As we worked in pairs to cook two tapas each. Alaine kept us to time in true Masterchef style, ready for the 7pm service.
I was so impressed by the simplicity of the recipes. Every step is well explained – what to do and why.
Alaine and Mary were close at hand to help if needed, but they also let us find our own way. Standards are high but expectations accommodate learners. When I over-roasted the asparagus (despite clear recipe instructions that they only needed a few minutes but instead I struck up a conversation) I had no need to feel bad.
I learnt that tapas are amazing. They truly are, as Alaine said – great ingredients, minimally worked that speak for themselves.
And what a feast we created in a mere hour as we sipped our sangria.
It was lovely to work with Megan from The Girl has Sparke . We were responsible for the Asparagus wrapped in Serrano ham (Esparragos en jamon) – a dish of simply roasted fresh aparagus drizzled with olive oil and seasoned before wrapping once cool – easy!!
We were also tasked with the Mussels in white wine sauce – again, a simple dish that started with sauteed onion and garlic and was flavoured with white wine, bay leaves and lemon juice.
Another equally simple dish was based on red and green peppers charred over the gas flame, diced with onion and tomato, and drizzled with olive oil and vinegar.
The lamb meatballs with saffron almond sauce (Albondigas), were at least as good as those I enjoyed at Movida de Tapas.
A Squid, chorizo and chickpea braise was again simply prepared with sautéed onion and garlic then flavoured with wine, tomatoes and Essential Ingredients Pimenton which Alaine told us can transform simple fresh ingredients.
The Prawns in garlic sauce (Gambas ajilo) also made use of the pimenton and was almost the ultimate 4 ingredient recipe.
The final tapas to complete the menu were a very delicious Spanish potato omelette (Tortilla a la espanola)
….and mushrooms sautéed in garlic and parsley (Champinones salteados).
It all came together beautifully and we sat down to enjoy the fruit of our labours, savouring our creations and chatting about food! How good is that!
I am so inspired to keep exploring new ways to do tapas! So simple, so good!
I couldn’t help thinking how much fun it would be to bring back a bunch of 12 friends and do tapas together. What a great way to spend an evening!
And a wonderful way to relax after a week of work. A great Christmas gift idea!
Foodish – passionately Connecting through cooking!