Life’s Kitchen is a multi-faceted company that offers catering, Livery Hall hire for events and weddings. They also do wonderful food and wine events that showcase two of their talents; incredible food paired with great wine and highly traditional Livery Halls kitted out for the dinner.
We attended their most recent event, ‘A Spring Taste of Spain’ which was held in association with Spanish food and wine specialist David Green. It was the first Livery Wine & Dine Club of 2019, and also the first to be held at Furniture Makers’ Hall, on Austin Friars; such a stunning venue.
David Green has Spanish wine knowledge that is beyond anyone I’ve ever met and this came paired with a menu from those at Life’s Kitchen that was filled with totally authentic flavours complemented by some of the very best wines Spain has to offer. I’m probably a little biased when it comes to the wine as one of my current favourites was amongst the pairings!
So how did the night pan out…
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a Marques de la Concordia Reserva Brut Cava in Pink or White. I went for the pink as it’s quite rare that I drink it. Marques de la Concordia is a vineyard in Rioja; an area which is usually known for its well oaked red wine, but not on this occasion. It was light, fresh and went perfectly with the chef’s selection of delicious canapes!
We snacked on Jamon, mackerel bites in anchovy juice and these super tasty, yet spicy biscuits.
We were then seated on large, round tables in the David Burbidge Room and eagerly awaited our starter of Black Rice Paella served with a Garlic Shrimp Skewer.
The slightly crispy texture of the Paella with the softer texture of the Garlic Shrimp complimented each other so well. The Paella was rich with Squid Ink, the Shrimps rich with Garlic and the sauce was flavoursome, yet not overpowering of the other flavours on the plate. I even used my bread to mop up the sauce as I didn’t want to leave any!
This starter course was paired with a Lagunilla Rioja Blanco which was herby and fairly citrus on the nose; a really well-rounded wine. It had enough clout behind it to carry itself over the strong flavours of the dish it was paired with. I’d say this would be an ideal summer wine too.
The main course was the dish I was looking most forward to as it was something I’d never order myself in a restaurant but something I really wanted to enjoy! This course was made up of Slow Braised Pigs Cheeks, Jamon Fat Potato with Crispy Chorizo and drizzled with Old Vine Syrah Jus.
The meat just fell apart, so much so that you needed to only really use your fork. My Old Vine Syrah Jus was the perfect accompaniment to the wonderful soft mashed Jamon Fat Potatoes and I didn’t really want this serving of food to come to an end.
To add to such a great course, it was paired with my current favourite wine; Hacienda Zorita’s Syrah from Arribes del Duero. The first wine of the night not from Rioja, but from an area in Northern Spains close to Salamanca. It won the Gold Berliner Wein Trophy in 2018, and in the same year won the Silver Sommelier Wine Awards, so you know it’s pretty darn good. Having been aged in French Oak there’s a slight hint of spice, and also hints of plum that makes it perfect for pairing with bold meaty dishes, but it’s just as good drunk on its own too.
Our dessert was a very traditional dessert from Spain, the Crema Catalana; sweet, yet sharp. The blow torched top cracked as my spoon hit it and with a little scoop of fig, this light dessert was a warm welcome after the heavier flavours of the previous courses.
Paired with a small glass of 2010 Telmo Rodriguez’ MR Mountain Wine which has definite notes of litchi and mango. You could easily get carried away with this sweet wine that I’m glad I wasn’t served a full glass as it was just so easy to drink.
Our final course was the Queso de Cabrales Croquettes which I loved. This course did divide the table we were sat on as the blue cheese was very strong but being a huge fan of all cheese it went down really well with me.
Paired with yet another glass of my favoutire Syrah, it wasn’t going to get a bad word from me.
We had a thoroughly great evening, met some highly interesting people we would have never got to meet otherwise and left feeling full to the very brim.
If you’re interested in coming along to the next Life’s Kitchen Livery Wine and Dine nights, you can find more info here.