Spanish Tapas Feast - Eat Well Culinary Workshop Series


When you are invited to spend the night with Chef Rene Rodriguez, from Navarra Restaurant, for a Spanish Tapas Feast, you can't refuse the invitation. His delicious creations were prepared with canola oil. I could not wait to attend the event, hosted by the Canola Eat Well and made sure I only had a light lunch during the day. The evening could not be a success without Branding and Buzzing, who greeted us warmly when we arrived.

Eat Well Culinary Workshop

Not only was the food amazing but we had a live demonstration by Chef Rodriguez, winner of Top Chef Canada, on how to make Patatas Bravas while sipping our Estralla Damn drink. Chef Rodriguez said that he likes to use Pristine Gourmet's cold-pressed canola oil as a finishing ingredient in his dishes. Guests attending had the opportunity to Learn. Create. Make. and Take during this part one of a 6-part series of Canola Oil inspired FARM TO FOOD experience. I  always find it exciting to watch a Chef make food in front of me.


Eat Well Culinary Workshop

Our evening started by a tour of the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum preservation exhibit. Since I was raised on a farm it was nice to see that we had similar ways to preserve our food that last all winter. The tour guide explained the basics of canning and fermentation as well as food safety. I wish I had a pantry full of Mason jars like this:

Eat Well Culinary Workshop

After the tour we had a demonstration to show us how much oil can be extracted from the canola seeds. Then it was our turn to extract the oil by taking part of a 'Canola Crush' activity. It was easy, all we had to do was to place the canola seeds on a strip of tape and then we crushed them with a roller. I was amaze to see the results.

Eat Well Culinary Workshop

During the evening we learned a lot about Canola oil and its benefits. I like the fact that it has a neutral flavour which is great for me because I do a lot of baking. It's a good source of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, which help protect against heart disease and stroke. Since it has a high smoking point (as high as 468F), it's perfect for all the sautéing I do. A big plus in my book! And I especially appreciate that it's grown by more than 52,000 Canadian farmers. 

Eat Well Culinary Workshop

When I attend events I always remember if the food was good or not. In this case it was not only delicious, it was hitting all of the right notes. When the doors opened to the room where we had the tapas, we saw a long, very well decorated table and in the background talented musicians to entertain us all night. I was fortunate to sit across the table from Chef Rodriguez and listened to how he came to Canada to study at Le Cordon Bleu school in Ottawa. The rest is history.

Eat Well Culinary Workshop

I could not decide which on the following tapas I like best, they all tasted so good:

Eat Well Culinary Workshop

Chorizo, cooked in Cider

Eat Well Culinary Workshop

Serrano Ham with Dates / Manchego with Quince

Eat Well Culinary Workshop
Catalan Tomato bread with anchovies / Patatas Bravas
(Photography by Nick Ghattas courtesy of Eat Well Canola Oil)

Eat Well Culinary Workshop

After eating a big plate of tapas we listened to Tanya, from a third-generation farm in Alberta, who runs a 4000-acre farm with her husband. I know how hard they work on their farm because we did also and it was seven days a week. Their crop this year will yield approximately 929,000 1L bottles of canola oil. That's a lot! They also harvest barley which will yield grain to produce an estimate of 15 million bottles of beer. She also mentioned that they grow wheat on the farm which will yield flour to an estimate of 3 millions loaves of bread. You can feed a lot of people with that.

Eat Well Culinary Workshop

After a lovely evening in good company, I am inspired to develop new recipes using Canola oil because it's local, healthy, versatile! In the meantime visit Canola Eat Well for more information about canola oil and recipes. 

Eat Well Culinary Workshop



Disclaimer: La Cuisine d'Hélène was sponsored by Branding and Buzzing for participating in the Eat Well Culinary Workshop. However, the experiences and opinions are our own.

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12 comments:

  1. I like canola oil's neutral flavour for baking too. It's so versatile and heart-healthy! Your photos are so gorgeous, Helene. Thank you for sharing the evening with us!

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  2. Lovely post from what looks like the most delicious evening! I look forward to following along with your adventures through social media.

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  3. I always bake with canola oil. I like it's flavour best. I love that table, it is set beautifully! What a nice event!

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    1. They did an amazing job with the food and decoration of the room.

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  4. I have had Maison Orphée products here:)

    What a fun evening..great pics..a lovely shot of you leaning over..and of course of you and the chef:)

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    1. They are hard to find where I live but when I go visit my family in Québec I can find them. Thanks!

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  5. Now that looks like a fabulous evening. Great looking food.
    jan

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  6. What a wonderful evening! I really wish we had something like this in Calgary!

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