Recipes and News

Tapas Fantásticas

This weekend I was lucky enough to attend a Spanish Olive Oil Master Class at the Rioja Tapas Fantásticas event on the South Bank in London. 
The festival was a bountiful opportunity to sample the wines of la Rioja, while food tents offered delicious morsels from restaurants and tapas bars across London, including Morito and Bar Tozino, in a vibrant celebration of Spanish gastronomy. We were very pleased to have three of our oils – two from the wonderful Valdueza Estate alongside the Vea family’s delicious L’Estornell organic EVOO – represented in the tasting. 
Demonstrating ways to cook with the oils was Nieves Barragán. Originally from the Basque country, Nieves is head chef at Fino and its sister restaurant Barrafina, in Soho (two places to which I shall be heading after sampling her delicious food). Meanwhile, María José Sevilla, the eminent Director of Foods and Wines from Spain, author, and television presenter, gave us a lively and intersting tutored tasting (which included a smoked olive oil – surprisingly delicious!)
Barragán first made a vibrant plate of warmed spring vegetables which had been generously coated in Valdueza olive oil; it is food like this which reminds one of how few ingredients are necessary when they are as fresh and tasty as these were. She then served us a mixed berry salad with marjoram vinaigrette, vanilla cream and, of course, olive oil. It was beautiful! Sharp and fresh yet soft and rich at the same time, and a completely new way of cooking with olive oil for me. 
I’m sure Tapas Fantásticas will be returning again next year, and I highly recommend a visit.


A New Book from Judy Ridgway

A number of our extra virgin olive oil producers are featured in the new e-book Remarkable Recipes by international olive oil expert Judy Ridgway.  They include Castelas from France, Colonna, Badia a Coltibuono and Ravida from Italy, Morgenster from South Africa, and Marques de Valdueza, Nunez de Prado, and L’Estornell fromSpain.  

All 76 recipes in the book come from olive growers and olive oil producers around the world because, as Judy says, who knows more about cooking with extra virgin olive oil?  “Some of the most interesting and delicious dishes I have ever eaten have been served at the tables of the olive growers and oil producers”, she comments.

Some of the recipes are traditional, others are family favourites and yet others are modern creations from gifted cooks; but one thing Judy is sure of is that they are all quite different to the recipes found in general cookbooks of the various regions.       

The e-book is available from,, (iTunes)  and Waterstones and WHSmith websites.

It should retail at £4.99 or the equivalent in the relevant currency.