The Austin Food + Wine Festival is where you can mix and mingle with some of the biggest chefs and sommeliers in the country. This Valentine’s Day, we’re offering you a piece of the action! You and your special someone (or a friend!) could win a one-on-one culinary experience with talented Austin Food + Wine Festival chefs in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, or Houston.
Want to know a little more? We asked Omar for his take on Spanish cuisine and what it’s really like to share the kitchen.
AFW: Casa Rubia was designed to celebrate not only Spanish cuisine but the Spanish approach to dining in general. Which elements of the authentic Spanish dining experience do you think are most important?
Some elements that I think are crucial to a Spanish dining experience are a good bottle of Cava and/or red wine, cured meats (Jamon Serrano, Chorizo, Jamon Iberico) and some great cheese like Tetilla, Idiazabel, or Cana de Cabra. You also have to have Paella.
Cooking together with someone in their own kitchen is a special thing. What is one of your favorite memories of cooking with someone – friend, mentor, family – in your home kitchen?
Well, years ago when I worked at Abacus we did cooking classes once a month. The themes of the classes always changed and so did the students. One thing that was so great about inviting people to cook with us was the amount of knowledge they gained in just a few hours of working with the chefs — from knife skills and kitchen etiquette to simulating a real kitchen service. I also made a ton of good friends who I sill keep in contact with today.
What about Valentine’s Day – what would be your ideal celebratory meal?
My ideal meal would be at home. Simple, maybe grilled fish or oysters with a bottle of Cava! Not going to happen though, it’s one of our busiest days at the restaurant, so it’s wishful thinking.
Take a look at the sample menu Chef Omar Flores will be preparing for the winners!
Cannelloni, cana de cabra, maitake mushrooms, rainbow Swiss chard
Black rice, squid, shrimp, Hollander mussels, chistora sausage, smoked tomato aioli
Tarta de manchego
Manchego cheese tart, seasonal fruit, Marcona almond crumble