19 June 2014

Secret Paladares - Vamos! Festival event 17th June

After having experienced the culinary delights of a previous Vamos! event (last week’s delicious Cubano Pop Up Restaurant at Newcastle College’s Lifestyle Academy), I was very lucky to be invited along to the Secret Paladares event  - this time taking a gastronomic tour of Argentina with chef Gareth Kyle at the Asado Supper Club. 



Part of the charm is its secret location, which was disclosed to me a couple of hours before the event, leading to me discovering a part of Newcastle that I’d never ventured to which was stunning and almost continental. Even better is the fact that it was the beautiful home of Sara Lourenco, Creative Producer of Vamos! Festival.  I walked in to the strains of passionate tango music provided by Tango Zapatito, a two-woman accordion and cello group who also sing in Spanish, which made for a very authentic and emotive performance. Even though I don’t dance Argentinian Tango I was inspired to get up and display raw emotion through the medium of dance.





I was introduced to the other guests (three couples – my usual dinner party scenario) and the lovely guys doing the photography and filming, and other members of the Vamos! team. Nemi, a student and events planner handed me a jam jar filled with a cocktail which she told me was a Legui Sour, a lemony drink made with an Argentinian liqueur that I’d never heard of. It was delicious and dangerously non-alcoholic tasting. After the music finished we were taken through to the kitchen, where the setting had been perfectly prepared, with the extensive menu for the evening written on a huge chalk board on the far wall, flower garlands strewn around the table and the Gotan Project playing in the background, setting the mood for the feast ahead.
Gareth is a self-taught chef who is passionate about bringing culinary experiences to people in their own homes and also at events in new and interesting venues. He has learned from the best, having spent time in the kitchens of Kenny Atkinson and Troy Terrington, as well as winning the 2011 Masterchef Live Competition and was also crowned the Masterchef “Champion of Champions.” His menu for the evening was based around traditional sharing boards and the Argentinian love of grilled meat.


 



We were then handed a double shot sized glass of gazpacho, which was welcomed on this balmy summer’s night, and then the sharing boards came out. The most delicious chorizo I’ve ever tasted appeared alongside delicately flavoured Maraqueta bread rolls, served with Provoleta cheese (a little like Edam) and beef empanadas (you’ve probably had them as canap├ęs – like mini Cornish pasties but a lot spicier and tastier).


Then it was back to the living room for a musical interlude from Tango Zapatito whilst Gareth worked his magic on the grill, presenting us with a non-stop meat feast of braised beer ribs, whole roast chicken (which was so simple it was sublime), Patagonian Lamb which tasted like no lamb I’ve ever come across before (ridiculously tender) and the star of the show – skirt steak (also known as flatiron steak) which is cooked really fast on the grill and served rare. It’s no word of a lie that I was vegetarian before I came to the supper club – unless I was prepared to eat salad all night remaining veggie would have been impossible. I felt guilty but realised what I had been missing. The meats were served with a beetroot based Russian salad, a Salsa Criolla and Chimichurri (a green sauce made from parsley, minced garlic, olive oil and oregano), all equally delicious.


Another rest was necessary to let all of that digest, then came sheep’s milk cheese with quince jelly, and to top it all off the sweet treats – Pastel de Nata  (a Latin custard tart) and other pastries served with Dulce de Leche cream (I’ve sampled a lot of caramel sauce at these events but I’m not complaining).
The night was rounded off with more traditional tango music and travel stories regaled (one couple had been to Argentina and told us of their love for the country). The menu and atmosphere left me desperate for more and seriously thinking about getting that South American trip booked.

  

Thanks to Gareth for the amazing food, Nik and Sara for being wonderful hosts and the Vamos! team for being their usual wonderful selves!
Gareth Kyle – Private Dining, Pop Ups, Street Food and Education  - for more information go to  www.garethkyle.co.uk or contact hello@garethkyle.co.uk
Vamos! Festival – For more information on events e-mail vamospr@gmail.com

Photos courtesy of Ann Miller Photography -  for more information go to  www.anniemiller.co.uk or contact annmiller.photo@gmail.com

For remaining Vamos events: vamosfestival.com




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