Friday, 30 January 2015


This is a wonderful book, a story of food. It is about how food moves around, from country to country, settles and uproots itself again. it is a story of how food is more than just for eating, its pages speak of a shared tradition of food, of like-minded people doing like-minded things, a cultural phenomenon that can bring us closer together, make us share.

Food is essential to life and this book shows real 'Food Empathy', that is, the deeper understanding of food, where it comes from, how it is produced, and the time and effort required. This is evident based on topics in the book such as 'Vegetables', 'Foraging', 'Wild Game', the dependency on managing our resources and the importance of relationships with 'The Farmer', 'The Fishmonger' and 'The butcher'. This ethos is also present with the subjects of 'Nose to Tail' and 'Cook It Raw'.

With large Companies control of food production, limiting food choice and food misguidance through marketing and advertising, people have lost their way!

If you take away only one thing from this book, even if you don't cook, it is the importance of exploring and understanding where your food comes from, how it is produced, and the time and effort required. Real food is essential to life and should be appreciated and celebrated.

For those of you who also like to cook it delivers a real knowledge of Spanish Cuisine, from a brief history of Spanish cooking, an introduction to Spanish wine to the Spanish cupboard. It is a book for both the amateur and the professional and introduces you to the often forgotten practices of curing, pickling and fermentation. It is bursting with recipes featuring traditional and contemporary tapas created using ingredients sourced in Ireland. All dishes are either currently on the menu in Cava Bodega or would have featured at one point over the last number of years since Cava Restaurant opened in 2008. It is unique and exciting for me that dishes you can enjoy in the restaurant, you can attempt to create using the recipes in the book. I will definitely be busy cooking many of them. I think it is sad that often people are very guarded and unwilling to share recipes with anyone, because food is for everyone! To the Author, thank you for sharing!!

About the Author; JP McMahon is owner of three award-winning Galway restaurants - the Michelin-starred Aniar Restaurant, Eat Gastropub at Massimo and Spanish restaurant Cava Bodega. ‘Tapas - A Taste of Spain in Ireland’ is his first book.

The book is available to purchase in Cava Bodega, Aniar Restaurant & Eat Gastropub and online via

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