Seasonal Spanish Food
By José Pizarro & Kyle Cathie
I love Spanish food and Spanish produce. I grew up on a farm in Estremadura; I work as a chef; food is very much a part of me. I want to share the simple lessons I’ve learned when I was growing up, that if you use fresh, good-quality ingredients when they are in season they will speak for themselves. This is true everywhere, not just in Spain. I choose Spain, not just because it is what I know, but because there is a very strong tradition of good, well-flavoured, simple home-cooking, using ingredients that have a sense of place. I owe an enormous debt to my parents, who showed me how to put good food on the table on a daily basis. Here I take you through, season by season, my favourite ingredients from different regions of Spain, how they are produced and how to use them so that you get the very best from them. The recipes are simple because it is all about the ingredients and feeding people. The principles are adaptable. I hope you like my book.
What the people say
“Writing the foreword to José Pizarro’s marvellous cookbook, I felt on the one hand really pleased to support a colleague who is doing so much to champion Spanish gastronomy and the fantastic products….His book is as passionate as it is exciting….I acknowledge his great talents….Pizarro shows us undeniably Spanish tapas that always carry his personal trademark. His worship of the most wonderful natural ingredients, especially following the seasons, has also catapulted him to other culinary and professional horizons. He is a great disseminator or the culinary heritage he has learned from his Spanish upbringing and he has worked tirelessly with others to promote the best of Spanish produce. Seasonal Spanish food embodies these qualities and Pizarro is more than just a new conquistador (this time culinary); he is the true ambassador of Spain on British soil, with great skill ni selecting the very best of seasonal products. The warmth and sensitivity he brings to the recipes he creates shines through on every page.”
Elena Arzak, Restaurante Arzak, San Sebastián-Donostia.
“Pizarro’s charming debut explores the country’s regions and is embellished with lovely anecdotes about the rural upbringing of the author, who’s the chef behind the London tapas restaurant, Brindisa.”
The Independent, “10 Best Autumn Cookbooks”
“Maybe it’s the Ferran Adrià-effect, but I use more Spanish ingredients than ever before, and am tempted to put smoky pimentón de la vera in every meat dish and cook every vegetable with chorizo. José Pizarro’s SEASONAL SPANISH FOOD has helped me apply the culinary brakes, and appreciate the subtlety you can achieve with ‘pan-fried pimentón chicken’ served with olive-oil mashed spuds. There’s a recipe using the same spice for the (very tasty) American signal crayfish that are menacing Mr. Pizarro’s Spanish inland waterways…”
Wall St. Journal (London), “Best Food Books of the Year 2009″
“Good tapas should always have an earthy element and José Pizarro’s new book, Seasonal Spanish Food, has captured that essence completely. Pizarro is the chef behind the three tapas restaurants of London’s leading Spanish food importer, Brindisa, and his book screams rustic, uncomplicated, classic tapas. Its fabulously uncomplicated pictures, matt presentation – shunning the glossy pages we’re so used to with more high-profile cookery books – and Pizarro’s personal tips and musings on various subjects, from mushroom hunting to Christmas in Spain, allow the unpretentious warmth of the Mediterranean to leap from its pages.”
“It is full of the sort of recipes that you might actually want to eat and although self effacing Jose Pizarro may not yet be receiving the plaudits of some of London’s other would be Iberian experts (think Sam & Sam and Sam & Eddie) the fact that the Spanish Ambassador offered him the Embassy in which to hold his launch party tells you all you need to know about the regard in which he is held by his countrymen. SEASONAL SPANISH FOOD contains many excellent recipes, but For DH, there is only one test of a Spanish chef’s chops and that is by the quality of his croquetas. The outside should be crisp and break to reveal a soft bechamel studded with jamon or flakes of salt cod. Brindisa’s are the best in London and I am pleased that JP has agreed to share his recipe with us. It is well worth a try, as indeed is the book worth seeking out.”
“José Pizarro made his name as the head chef at Borough Market’s famous tapas restaurant, Brindisa. In Seasonal Spanish Food he gets right to the heart of authentic Spanish cooking, sharing stories and recipes from his youth in rural Spain where food came straight from the land. Season by season, Jose works with his favourite ingredients from different Spanish regions, giving detail on the culture and history behind them, and how best to use them. Jose’s cooking in Brindisa has always been traditional but with a modern twist and the book continues in this vein. His philosophy is refreshingly honest: use fresh, good-quality, seasonal ingredients and the work is done for you. The book is illustrated well with vivid photography. The recipes are gorgeous and above all, Spanish food is demystified and simplified – this is definitely a book you will want to keep to hand in the kitchen.”
Where to buy