Today kicks off another wine and food extravaganza at Central Market. Coming off last year’s success with Passport to Argentina, the Texas-based foodie orgasmatron hosts a two-week celebration of everything Spain during its Pasaporte España, scheduled for May 11 – 24 at Central Market locations in Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.
Discover a country where brilliant chefs transform some of the world’s tastiest produce, meat, cheese and seafood into traditional modernist dishes. No need to travel to Spain–just reserve a seat and enjoy an evening with one of these three star chefs and winemakers!
For the Passport Spain kick-off event, Ramon Martinez, Executive Chef of Jaleo – Jose Andrés’ award winning tapas concept in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, DC – will prepare paella in a 20’ x 40’ tent while Spanish guitar music and flamenco dancers entertain guests.
Jaleo was the nation’s first critically and commercially successful Spanish restaurant, and helped launch the tapas (small plates) craze in America. Martinez works closely with Andrés on menu development and helps to maintain quality control for all three Jaleo restaurants. VIP guests are invited to a private Cava tasting prior to the public event.
I enjoyed a preview of Spain-influenced tapas and paella dishes last month. Central Market will host a number of events where they will provide similar small dishes on the patio and the Cooking School to pair with wines in casual “walk-arounds” with star chefs and winemakers.
Here are the events set for this week!
Wednesday, May 11 – Celebrate Spain (6 – 8 p.m. All Ages) – Opening Night! Spanish guitarists will add to the ambiance and Flamenco dancers will perform at 7 p.m. under a tent in CM’s parking lot. A portion of the $10 donation will be donated to Casa de España, Houston.
Thursday, May 12 – Trailblazer of Rioja – 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Ages 21 and up) – Javier Ybañez, Marques de Riscal, Rioja. Founded in 1858, it is one of the oldest wineries in Rioja and one of the first to introduce French winemaking techniques. $35 per person.
Friday, May 13 – The Diversity of Spanish Seafood – 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. (Ages 18 and up) – Quim Marques, Chef/Owner, Suquet de l’Almirall & Cookbook Author Daniel Olivella, B44 in San Francisco and Barlata in Oakland. Two Catalan specialists will introduce participants to flavorful dishes along with pairings of Catalan Wines. $75 per person.
Saturday, May 14 – Here’s to Family: a Tasting of Torres Family Wines – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Participants aged 21 and up will learn about and sample wines from Wine Enthusiast 2006 European Winery of the Year. Cultivating their own vineyards in the Mediterranean region of Penedes for the last 300 years, the Torres family has received numerous high ratings for their wines in both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast and were voted “Green Winery” of 2010 for their commitment to the environment. Guests can join Miguel Torres, Jr. for a walkaround to include a Moscatel/Gewurtzraminer blend from Catalunya; a 2006 Cabernet from Penedes and a Reserve Chardonnay from Parellada paired with tapas. $35 per person.
Sunday, May 15 – Award Winning Albariños with Tapas – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Ages 21 and up) Isabella Salgado, Winemaker of Fillaboa in Rias Baixas will be on hand to share her estate grown and bottled wines that helped earn Food and Wine Magazine’s top Albariño in 2007. A casual walk around in the upstairs Cooking School and patio will treat guests to Salgado’s wines as well as tapas and paella. $35 per person.
Central Market stores across Texas will be stocked with all-things-Spanish for the two-week celebration around authentic Spanish cuisine. Customers can browse products from the San Miguel market, and savor authentic Spanish cuisine including Jamon Iberico, Spanish-style Chorizo Picante, Ajo Blanco Gazpacho and Pierna de Cordero (Leg of Lamb).
Many more Cooking School wine and food affairs along with free events throughout the store are scheduled now through May 24th. Visit the Central Market Cooking School website for more information.