Friday, December 31, 2010

Out With 'The Old', In With 'The New'!

I've never been one much for celebrating Christmas nor New Year, especially in recent years, although I have to confess to having a memorable Christmas feast with 20+ Filippino friends in the UAE a couple of years back, but generally I no longer 'do' the festive celebrations in the same way as many. Not that I don't like to but most of my family are scattered around the globe and we never seem to be able to get together due to work commitments. This leaves me often to my own devices and that may mean that I call into a good restaurant for a meal (busman's holiday I guess).

I did exactly that the other day, when I visited Osteria, Restaurante Italiano in Mojacar. It used to be a regular when I was here in 2007 to 2008 but since returning to the area in 2009 I haven't frequented it half as much as I should. It was good in 2007, in fact one of the best in the area, but in 2010, Simon the owner, (a Dorchester Hotel, London trained chef), has 'upped his game' even further and this has to be some of the best pasta in the south of Spain. Oh, and I just happened to have my camera with me! (Do I ever go anywhere without my camera? Yes frequently, and sometimes to my regret). Certainly if you are looking for somewhere with real table clothes, quality wines, and great Italian food then Osteria is just the sanctury that you need to visit. And, I would mention - this is not a pizzeria - sure Simon will throw a pizza together if you twist his arm behind his back, but you primarily go to Osteria to sample good wholesome Italian food by way of pasta dishes, amongst others.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Tapas Trail Continues

Regardless of the fact that this is Christmas with New Year celebrations soon upon us, I have still been engaged in my day to day activities of discovering new and exciting foods in Almeria Province.....and there are some interesting tapas and foods being prepared here....take a look at the photo...

Wednesday sees me with important friends from Almeria, at Antonio Gazquez's Restaurante Las Eras in Tabernas. I have to say, not having seen my friends for some months, I am really looking forward to it and I know the lunch will be top class.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cold Turkey

This week, I gave myself a well earned and deserved day off to recharge my batteries. Having not had a break for 2 years and working 7 days a week I decided to ‘rest.’ No computer, no internet and no camera in tow. By 11.00 I had already failed the test. By 13.00 I had already purchased a note pad and pen in order to scribble some notes between gulps of red wine, the partaking of tapas and a great ‘queso de cabra y mermelada de tomate raf’ in my favourite tapas bar, and at 15.30 I was sitting at the beach answering emails via my iPhone….and, writing this blog. Such is today’s technology.

Let’s just face it – I’m currently a workaholic and a cyber junkie. (With no partner within the vicinity to distract me nor for whom I must be responsible, nor attentive, I guess there isn’t much else to do other than work). Even going without the computer or internet for as little as 24 hours is proving almost impossible for me, and the only feasible way is to go ‘cold turkey.’ As ‘food’ is my business and I have to eat, then it too makes it doubly difficult for me to switch off.

This me leads nicely to, “What are you going to do with the left-overs of your Christmas bird?” (I mean the turkey of course – what were you thinking?).
There are the obvious turkey curries, turkey paella or even turkey mince. I favour just plain cold turkey, (hams too, if you have any left), bubble and squeak and chutneys.
For those more creative of you, how about inventing your own new tapas, and posting it up on the Comida de Almeria Facebook page!?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Who said this was a glamorous job?

It has been said by other photographers that this job is 25% photography and 75% ‘other’ things, like accounts, chasing monies and marketing etc.

This last week in particular, I’ve found that 25% is on the generous side, as the ‘other’ things to which they refer seem to take over… marketing probably accounts for 80% of my time, whether it be in the form of a magazine article or putting the magazine Comida de Almeria together. Last week proved to be a prime example of a ‘tough’ week. Apart from a number of ‘issues’ to have to encounter and overcome, 15 hours of internet ‘upload failure’ hasn’t exactly been the fun and glamorous side of the job. That said, the week is behind me and we move forward…

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Discovering more great food...

My quest to help improve food standards in Almeria Province through the magazine, and by highlighting high quality foods continues, but not in vain. A pleasant trip to Vera, (you can read about it in Comida de Almeria December issue next week), and two photoshoots of tapas in the more adventureous tapas bars of Mojacar, has resulted in some interesting dishes and images.

Also, el Mirador del Castillo in Mojacar Pueblo has re-opened and is now serving food. By the number of visitors today, the bar is a big hit with both Spaniards and foreigner's alike. Long may it continue especially during this cold winter period. The setting is stunning and the evening dusk with the orange glow of table lamps in the bar area, makes for an inviting venue for an evening drink.