Bar 44’s Tom Morgan spoke to Laura Fedeli about Tapas Y Copas, a new cookbook co-written with brother and business partner Owen. Find out the sources of their inspiration, some of his favourite recipes, and further hints and tips…
Where did the inspiration for the book come from – is this something you and your brother have always wanted to do together?
Yes, we’ve always wanted to do a recipe book – so when COVID struck we seized the opportunity to put pen to paper and wrote all of our memories from experiences of travelling as a family in Spain. We’ve also included a lot of information about Spanish culture and drinks as well as food.
Why did Spanish cuisine become your focus in the first place?
Spanish food and drink culture is something we’ve always embraced at Bar 44. It’s all we’ve known since a young age. We’ve travelled to all corners of Spain with our family, and have enjoyed simple grilled sardines across an open fire and tasty marinated anchovies on a beach. We just couldn’t get enough of it and since then have had a non-stop love affair with Spain.
How many dishes are in the book?
There are 100-plus recipes, ranging from classic Spanish tapas through to stuff we’ve put our own stamp on with a modern twist. Some are tried and tested in our restaurants and we know they are winning dishes – now people can cook them to enjoy in the comfort of their own home.
Tapas is as much about socialising as it is the food. Do you and Owen enjoy tapas regularly with your friends and family at home?
Sure, all the time. We are from a ‘cooking family’ where gathering around the table was a massive part of our upbringing – often we’d have celebratory meals and huge Sunday lunches together. My mum and sister are amazing chefs. Owen and I like to experiment and come up with new things all the time, which lends itself perfectly to tapas. It’s a lighter, more social way of eating, and rather than being stuck with one dish or one flavour, you can pick and choose what you fancy.
Have you got any advice for people who struggle with confidence in the kitchen?
I think the key to any cooking is preparation and getting the right ingredients. Our food is based on amazing ingredients from The Spanish Larder – and Wales. We sell a lot of these on our online store and whether you are a novice chef in a restaurant or picking up a recipe book for the first time, you should set aside time before you cook to make the process easier.
Also, be adventurous and give everything a go. Don’t forget it’s about the drink just as much as it is the food. We recommend you enjoy the suggestions that we’ve expertly paired with each dish to enhance the flavours.
What else can people discover in Bar 44: Tapas Y Copas?
Expect a glimpse at Bar 44’s journey as an independent family business, as we share what we’ve learnt over the past 20 years operating within a harsh industry. Pocketed throughout this book is also amazing stories from our experiences in Spain. We’ve been able to visit different places in Spain that not many people are fortunate enough to see. For instance, in the Picos mountains, my brother and I hunted down red cheeses which matured in caves surrounded by wolves. There are loads of interesting travel tales like this included!
TOM’S TAPAS TOP TIPS
Keep it simple
Pick and choose a mix of dishes – fish, meat and veggie
Take your time
Cook in advance
Try cooking a selection for a dinner party with friends
Cook along to our Fiesta playlist that we’ll send you when you buy our book!
Bar 44: Tapas Y Copas by Tom & Owen Morgan is published by Seren on Mon 22 Nov.
Info: here / bar44.co.uk
words LAURA FEDELI, Buzz Culture 2021 Learner
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