The name, Tapas, comes from the Spanish “Tapa”, which means “lid” or “cover” and refers to the practice of using a small plate to cover a glass of wine (perhaps to protect it from fruit flies). Eventually it became common to top the plate with salty snacks, which would encourage more drinking – and, hence, more wine sales. Today, a wide variety of appetizers and small dishes are part of the tradition and the serving of tapas is generally designed to encourage conversation since people are free to focus on each other rather than a large meal set before them. We, however, will be focusing on the food, as well as each other, as we learn the art of making tapas in our “Spanish Tapas and Wine” class. We’ll use the freshest local vegetables, organic meats, and sustainable seafood to create a number of classic Spanish dishes and we’ll also steep ourselves in the culture by enjoying a selection of red and white wines from Spain. You’ll leave with a great appreciation for Spanish cuisine and also knowing the tastiest way to keep the flies out of your wine glass.
Recipes: Spanish Marinated Olives, Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce, Ham Croquettes, Spicy Sausage and Cheese Tortilla, Spanish Stuffed Mussels, Orange Marmalade Empanadillas with Brown Sugar Coating
Class Type: Individual, hands-on cooking class
Class Notes: Learn the art of tapas makings while drinking Spanish wine!
Tessa Liebman was born and raised in Brooklyn and is completely not surprised it has become the culinary mecca that it is. Her architect (and enthusiastic familiy cook) father and cookbook author neighbor informed her aesthetic and palate when younger. Later she was inspired while working in the front of the house of restaurants as an undergrad studying art history and sociology; then deciding (with the encouragement of a female chef she worked with) to attend the French Culinary Institute. Since graduating Tessa has worked in restaurants, taught a culinary job training program for underemployed adults and was the Executive Chef at Shiraz Events for two years creating menus and overseeing events for such clients as LVMH, Google, Microsoft and Beyonce.
She is currently working as a Private Chef, consultant, caterer and food stylist. Her articles and styling work have been featured in WSJ Magazine, Epicurious.com and Foto8. She also won a travel research grant from The Culinary Trust in 2007 to Mexico where she spent many summers visiting her grandparents. Travel and art inspire her ideas around cooking and entertaining. Recently she has begun a series of private dinners with her artist friends called Methods and Madness. Contact Tessa