Sunday, April 10, 2011

Playing Catch-up

It has been a while since I created time to add to this blog, and with two crashed laptops and one crashed iPhone behind me, it has rather put me back in my endeavours to contribute anything meaningful to Food Photographer in Spain, or for that matter any of the blogs for which I write.
Of course some of my readers will also be aware that apart from engaging in periodic bouts of concentration whilst food is swiftly delivered from restaurant kitchen to the awaiting customer’s table via what laughingly classes itself as a photo-shoot (all 5 seconds per plate – it is with some surprise that I manage to get any usable images out of these shoots), I am engaged in some depth in running a Spanish and Mediterranean Culinary School, here in southern Spain.
The culinary school has taken up much of my recent time, punctuated only by unreliable technology. With the school now successfully bedded-in, and with bookings flowing, it allows me time to get back in the saddle and finish all manner of outstanding internet contracts, get up to date with writing and concentrate on what I love best – food!
Whilst I hate routines, summer opens up many opportunities for me and there is a need for me to become rather more disciplined in my approach than I have been of late.
Working alongside a top international chef in Jeremy Stent at el Mirador del Castillo, as I do, the school has taught me to experiment and not be afraid to try new culinary creations, especially for my blogs and magazine. It has also exposed me to my scant knowledge of some areas of cooking, and thus the fact that part of my new routine will now be devoted to a great deal more time undertaking culinary research….an area that I actually love, but have very much put to one side in recent months.
So, in all I can happily suggest that the new routine will kick-in next week and you will see more food writing and much greater activity, here and on Unique Almeria – Almeria, Spain’s Smart Insider Guide. Have a fun week ahead.

Friday, February 4, 2011

International Chef Comes To Mojacar

My involvement in the new Spanish Culinary School to be based at el Mirador del Castillo in Mojacar Pueblo, southern Spain has taken a great stride by helping secure the services of a top international chef in the form of Jeremy Stent.

Jeremy, formerly of The Ivy London, ex Head Chef at Shepherds Restaurant London and the ex Head Chef at The One and Only Royal Mirage, 5 star luxury hotel in Dubai, (image right) where he had 15 chefs reporting to him, joins the team to head the tuition at the cooking school. Fresh from a contract in Estepona southern Spain, Jeremy is no novice when it comes to Spanish cuisine as he was previously Head Chef at Alcazaba Restaurant where 90% of his clientele were Spanish.

What I can also report is that the school will open for residential 5 day courses from April onwards - bookings are now being taken - and will offer One Day programmes from March! To keep up to date with the news check the website at

Monday, January 24, 2011

New And Old Friends....

Last week, I spent a really pleasurable day visiting Almeria City (again) in order to search for food and culinary delights. I can never get enough of the place, and each time the day is full of surprises. Firstly, I had the good fortune to bump into my dear friend Isabel. She rarely travels into Almeria City itself, as she lives on the outskirts and has little reason to be in the centre, but on this occasion she was not only in Almeria, but was parking the car only a few yards away from where I had alighted. Naturally, we tried a coffee bar not far away.

Later in the day, whilst making new friends in a certain bar, (you can read about the bar in Comida de Almeria next week, when I publish February's issue), I bumped into the beautiful Anna, ex-staff member of Lombok in Mojacar where I had previously shot during the summer months. And of my new friends? Well, apart from any friend of Anna's is a friend of mine, I had the delightful experience of meeting 6 new people, in David, Ismael and another David and their respective partners...the warmth they exude is only matched by the quirkiness of the bar and the owner Jose. The tapas were first class and the wine of course was great - after all, it was my favourite Almeria wine, Tetas de la Sacristana from Seleccion de Vinos de Fondon!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back in the kitchen...

Due to recent developments at work and at home, I have taken to being back in the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, we aren't talking about being in a working professional kitchen selling restaurant meals, but moreso back in a fully equipped kitchen where I can prepare my own dishes and recipes, and do some serious tastings and photography work for Comida de Almeria, food magazine in wonderful surroundings....oh and of course I have the opportunity to entertain should the need ever arise. With weekly markets available locally some really good bargains can be secured. Indeed, tomatoes are currently only 60 cents per kilo at some of the local stalls, and they are slightly more ripe and tasty than those found in the supermarkets for three times the price. The streets markets are also sporting some useful fresh herbs in some quantity at a fraction of the price of the supermarkets too...

In the meantme, I have been busy harvesting red pepper corns. Two plastic bags of them in fact - it's a time consuming process...but see from the photo - they look amazing in the image and taste even better than they look, in spicing up dishes! These particular red pepper corns were picked at the new culinary school in Mojacar, el Mirador del Castillo where we will soon be commencing some wonderful culinary cooking holidays.