Sharing bushfire lived experiences over tapas

Sharing stories over food is a classic way to connect with others, and that’s exactly what happened at our latest cooking class.

Chef Toni, from Flavours of the Valley in Kangaroo Valley, started the cooking class with some non-alcoholic sangria, which tasted amazing. This gave everyone a chance to meet, connect and get to know one another before we dived in to cooking up a storm of Spanish tapas.

The participants were paired up, each with a recipe or two to make for our lunch, including:

  • Patatas Bravas with roast tomato aioli
  • Spanish meatballs
  • Caramelized Chorizo
  • Heirloom tomato salsa
  • Chimichurri chicken pinxtos with fresh pesto
  • Smoked salmon cups with roasted garlic feta
  • Wild mushroom empanada
  • Churros with chocolate sauce

The aroma of the food being cooked in the kitchen was incredible – the smell of garlic, chilli, onion, chorizo … yum! 

Spanish tapas cooking tips:

  • If you have issues with your meatballs crumbling, never fear! Roll the meatball as you normally would – the trick is to then throw the meatball into the palm of your hand to get the air out. It’s the air in the meatball that causes them to crumble! Another trick is to not fry the meatballs off first but to make the sauce, then place the meatball into the sauce and cook.
  • A gluten free way to make smoked salmon cups is to use cucumber and cut into 4 and scope out half the seeds, then place the salmon filling inside the cucumber cup.
  • To make aioli or mayonnaise, try putting all the ingredients into a long container, including the egg whole. Place the stick blender over the top of the whole egg and blend, and it turns into mayo!

The great thing about cooking is that it’s something everyone can do, it’s a relaxed environment for people to chat and share their cooking knowledge and experience. 

After cooking everyone headed into the dining area, sitting down together to share the delicious food they’d made together. Chef Toni gave a special thanks to the first responders for their service.

The meal gave participants a chance to chat about their lived experiences through the Black Summer fires, which was a great way to connect before learning more about each other.