Spanish Fiesta

02 Oct 2014
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Spanish cooking is all about fire and passion. Adam Hurrell finds that Catalan food expert Jordi Gimeno has plenty of both when they sit down for a chat



Sifawy Boutique Hotel will be hosting Oman’s first Spanish Food Fiesta from October 3 to 10 under the guidance of world-renowned chef Jordi Gimeno. Y was lucky enough to grab five minutes with Chef Jordi for a sneak peak of what we can expect from the festival, as well as tips on how to bring some pizzazz to the plate.

Seafood-Paella-Chef-Jordi-Gimeno

Y Magazine (Y): Tell us about the Spanish Food Fiesta – what dishes and flavours can we look forward to experiencing?

Chef Jordi (CJ): The design of Sifawy Boutique Hotel is a combination of Omani heritage and contemporary modern design. In the same manner, my recipes stem from the Catalan heritage, but offer a modern twist. During the Spanish Food Festival, I will be using combinations of succulent ingredients from the sea and from the land to come up with unique creations that combine the authentic flavours of Spain.

(Y): That sounds delicious. What, in your opinion, separates Catalan cooking from other cuisines?

(CJ): Catalan food is full of identity and that is what makes it so special. It is based on products straight from the ground, adapted to the seasons and traditional cultures, while showing a great deal of personality in its presentation and, above all, an exquisite taste. Another factor that led to the success of Catalan cooking is the diversity of Catalonia’s landscape, which produces a large quantity of ingredients that help you to create a multitude of different dishes that correspond to their geographic origins. Above all, it is about possessing the passion for food and creation of new recipes.

(Y): You are known for your seafood and fish dishes, in particular. How do you feel your cooking may be influenced by spending time in Oman, a country with a rich history of seafood?

(CJ): Of course, this is the great thing about working with new chefs in new countries: we share recipes and knowledge. Every chef has something to offer, therefore, we inspire each other and I cannot wait to learn how chefs in Oman cook seafood.

(Y): What are you hoping to achieve with this festival – is it merely a case of celebrating the wonders of Catalan cooking or does it have a wider goal?

(CJ): It is about sharing knowledge and expertise and obviously interacting with the locals and learning more about Omani culture. Of course, I like to present the wonders of Catalan cuisine, but enjoying new countries where I have never been before and working with top local chefs is something I am really looking forward to.

(Y): As a Catalan chef who has worked all over the world, how has your own cooking developed with your travels?

(CJ): Travel helps any chef develop new ideas and recipes. Interacting with a wide variety of cultures enables you to be more creative in the kitchen. When I am around other chefs who possess different experiences to my own, I do not shy away from asking questions – cooking is an ongoing learning process.

(Y): Is this festival part of a tour or is it only coming to Oman on this occasion?

(CJ): It was not planned to be a tour, but now it seems like a tour because I have just finished a food festival in Baku, Azerbaijan. After Oman, I will be sharing my creations with Catalan food fanatics in Bahrain, Malaysia and Tunisia. I am looking forward to an amazing 10 weeks of rewarding new experiences.

On October 3 and 10, 2014

Al Sabla restaurant – Brunch buffet 12.30pm to 4pm
Breeze Lounge – Tapas menu 6pm to 12am

4-9 October, 2014

Al Sabla restaurant – Themed set menu 6pm to 10.30pm
Breeze Lounge – Tapas menu 6pm to 12am

For reservations, call +968 2474 9111 or email reservations@sifawyhotel.com

www.sifawyhotel.com

Recipe: Seafood Paella

Ingredients

  • 1 prawn
  • 1 langoustine
  • 20g squid or cuttlefish
  • 2 mussles
  • 2 clams
  • 5g green pepper
  • 10g red pepper
  • 60g rice
  • 1.5L fish stock
  • 10g onion
  • 3g garlic
  • 10g tomato
  • 1 tsp saffron

Method

  1. Cut the squid into small pieces.
  2. Lightly pan fry the prawn and langoustine. Use the same oil to fry the garlic and finely chopped onion.
  3. In a separate pan, fry the green and red peppers and tomato until cooked.
  4. Add the squid and cook until it softens, then add the rice.
  5. Pour the fish stock over equally because the rice will not be stirred after.
  6. Season and add the garlic, onion, prawn, langoustine, mussels and clams.
  7. Place in the oven and cook for 13-14 minutes at 200ºC.


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