March 21, 2018 | Extremadura
This Spring, the little-known Spanish region of Extremadura will tantalise the taste buds and raise awareness of its foodie credentials as it brings a feast of delicious local dishes and delicacies to London for its first ever Gastro Week (#Extremadurafoodie), running from 20 to 27 March 2018.
It has joined forces with popular Spanish chef José Pizarro to bring diners at his three London restaurants* a chance to taste some of Extremadura’s internationally-renowned wines, cheeses, tapas and other regional specialities.
Diners at Pizarro, the chef’s flagship restaurant, will also have a chance to enter a prize draw to win a trip to explore the stunningly beautiful but lesser-known region, situated in southwest Spain. The lucky winners of the prize draw will be offered a three-night stay for two people in the region, including 4-star accommodation, flights, car hire and a local guided tour.
In addition, José Pizarro will donate £1 to Action Against Hunger for every meal ordered from the special Extremadura menu. José Pizarro, who is from Extremadura, says: “I am passionate about my home region, of course – Extremaduran food made me what I am today. I also believe that no-one in this world should go hungry, and I hope diners at my restaurant will choose the special Extremaduran menu to help me to raise money for Action Against Hunger.”
*The full Extremaduran menu will be available from 20th to 27th March at Pizarro Restaurant (194 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ), while José’s two other restaurants – José Tapas (104 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UB) and José Pizarro Broadgate (36 Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS) will be serving special tapas from Extremadura.
The Extremadura region has a strong tradition of gastronomic delights, with superb wines including Cava. Celebrated local dishes include Migas (a rustic and hearty creation of breadcrumbs, garlic, bacon, chorizo and peppers), lamb stew, roasted meats and award-winning cheese, such as the pungent, creamy Torta del Casar.
Freshly-prepared food that celebrates natural, seasonal produce is at the heart of life in Extremadura. It’s a key part of the local culture to take the time to relax with friends and family and enjoy excellent local wines and delicious foods. The recipes and ingredients of the region today have been shaped over the centuries by the influence of the Romans, Arabs, Jewish and Christian civilisations, all of whom have inhabited the land, by its 16th century explorers, and also by its proximity to Portugal. The result is a traditional yet highly distinctive and delicious cuisine, which Extremadura’s Gastro Week (#Extremadurafoodie) plans to introduce to those living in London and further afield in the UK.
Exploring Extremadura is a revelation. With its broad blue skies, vast swathes of sparsely populated land, incredibly well-preserved Roman ruins, six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, stunning scenery and delicious food and wine, it’s hard to understand why it remains one of the least-visited parts of Spain.
Whether it’s the breath-taking Springtime display of white blossom from more than two million cherry trees in the Jerte Valley in Extremadura, rivalling the sakura season in Japan but hardly known outside Spain, or the awe-inspiring, inky-black night-time sky, perfect for showcasing the Milky Way and many stars and planets (and designated a Starlight Tourist destination as one of the best places in Europe to observe the night sky), there is much to delight.
Francisco Martin, the Director General of Extremadura Tourism, says: “I am delighted to lead our delegation of four Extremaduran chefs and our team of tourism experts, all keen to spread the word about Extremadura – not only our home, but also our generous food larder – and to share our Extremaduran foodie pleasures and experiences with a much wider audience.”
For more information on Extremadura, and the many experiences to enjoy there, visit http://turismoextremadura.com/en.