Olive It! and Tapas Revolution restauranteur Omar Allibhoy recently held a culinary masterclass at The Brighton Cookery School. It was to celebrate the Olive and to teach people about their health benefits, which olives work well in which dishes, their seasonality and new and delicious ways to enjoy Spanish olives.
Spanish chef and cookbook author Omar Allibhoy who has been called the Antonio Banderas of cooking by none other than Gordon Ramsey, runs four Tapas Revolution restaurants, three in London, one in Birmingham and one newly opened in Sheffield.
The exclusive hands-on cookery tuition session by Omar showed a a variety of tapas inspired recipes using olives. We also learnt how the olive starts out as green on the tree, turning purple and then finally black, all from the same tree! Olives are low in calories (unless you eat the whole bowl of course!), they contain monounsaturated fats, over three quarters of their fat content is oleic acid. They are a good natural source of vitamin E, with black olives also containing a good amount of iron.
Omar showed us how to prepare an olive, candied cherry and goats cheese dessert with double cream and a splash of sherry. I am always up for different flavour combinations and this sweet and salty fusion did not disappoint, I could have eaten two portions, oh wait I did as there was some left over at the end, utterly delicious!
We then made a couple of olive oil marinades using cayenne and oregano for the green olives and ginger, cardomon and cinnamon to combine with black olives. I must admit to a huge penchant for olives, we cook with them (tapenades, hummus, with pasta, etc) but also love a bowl of green olives with a glass of wine. I have never marinaded them before but it’s certainly on my another way with olives list now!
Our main course was salad based with a thick and very filling Romesco dressing. Into a food processor went the roasted red peppers, tomatoes and garlic (I absolutely love roasted garlic), hazelnuts, toasted bread and a healthy dose of olive oil. The dressing was then blobbed onto a bed of salad leaves along with flaked Tuna and chopped anchovies, with more black olives scattered over the finished dish.
There was plenty of Spanish wine flowing to accompany the dishes which we devoured at the end of a very pleasant and knowledgeable evening. We were given a goody bag with tins of olives, an apron and the Olive It! cookery book which as you can imagine is crammed full of olive recipes which we will be trying.
Thanks to Omar, Olive It! and the Storm Communications team for the invitation and a wonderful evening.