At this summer’s Hay Festival (23rd May – 2nd June) visitors will find a rather unusual food emporium nestled amongst the books and crowds – in the form of a pop up tapas bar hosted by José Pizarro and created by the Spanish Tourist Office.
Tapas España by José Pizarro will offer a stunning range of dishes from London’s favourite Spanish chef, based on his menus at his popular Bermondsey Street bar José. Dishes have been designed to delight guests and to highlight the diversity of Spain’s many twists on traditional tapas. Dishes will change on a daily basis depending on what looks good at market that morning, but typical dishes include Gazpacho with Apples & Cockles, Empanadas, big, juicy Gordal olives stuffed with orange, Estofado (a sort of rustic stew), Grilled Squid and José’s popular Lamb Chops.
Spain has long been known for its excellent cuisine ranging from its culinary constants such as jamón and olive oil to the pintxos of San Sebastián, the paella of Valencia and the suckling pig of Segovia. The basis of Spanish cuisine is good quality ingredients and simple home cooking, both key elements of José’s cooking.
As always, José will use the very best meat and fish available to him and he is keen to use as much local produce as possible in order to keep a check on the food miles. Lamb will certainly come from Wales and he is also considering showcasing other locally produced food and drink such as Welsh Cider.
Wales shares a proportion of their ancestry with Northern Spain and even today, there are many parallels. With lush green and verdant scenery, the fertile soils in Wales and Northern Spain provide a wealth of fresh vegetables and happy grazing livestock, which twinned with an elongated coastline, provides an abundance of mouth-watering ingredients, suitably fitting for a Hay Festival pop-up.
In order to be true to his roots, José has insisted that the wine list carries some of his best-loved sherries, cavas and wines, reining from Spanish regions including Andalucía, Cataluña, Galicia and the Basque Country. The design of Tapas España by José Pizarro will be sympathetic to his current restaurant sites and will be comfortable and welcoming – just like a true tapas bar.
José said of the collaboration, “I am thrilled to be able to take what we do at José in London into one of the most exciting literary and food festivals in the UK. I have long been a fan of the festival and it really is a dream come true to be able to take the food of my country there and to represent Spanish cuisine on behalf of the Spanish Tourist Office.”