Ben McCormack, editor of Imbibe’s sister publication Square Meal, presents My Taste with Bibendum Wine, a series of programmes interviewing renowned chefs and restaurateurs. This month, Ben talks to Tapas Revolution owner and executive chef Omar Allibhoy about his passions and experiences, and tastes Estrella Galicia from Spain.
Estrella Galicia, meaning ‘Star of Galicia,’ was founded in 1906. Named Spain’s Brewery of the Year at the 2013 New York International Beer Competition, family-owned Estrella Galicia remains in its founding city of A Coruña in the north-west Spanish region from which it takes its name.An excellent supply of water and hops coupled with over a century of expert brewing gives the beers from Estrella Galicia a distinctively smooth taste. This beer is refreshing and well-balanced with a light body, making it the perfect match for tapas.
Madrid-born Omar Allibhoy began his career under the legendary Ferran Adrià, of the now closed three Michelin-starred El Bulli in Girona. Arriving in the UK in 2008, he took over west London’s El Pirata Detapas – which soon became a favourite tapas haunt – and found further fame on Channel 4’sRamsay’s Best Restaurant, where he was nicknamed the ‘Antonio Banderas of cooking’ by the celebrity chef. Before realising his dream of opening a restaurant of his own, Allibhoy set out on his motorbike across England, cooking for everyone he met en route with the aim of putting tapas on the foodie map.
In 2010, he made his mark by opening his first Tapas Revolution in Westfield’s Shepherd’s Bush to such rave reviews that within a year he’d opened a second in Bluewater, followed by branches in Shoreditch, Grand Central Birmingham and soon Sheffield’s Meadowhall. Further to this, Allibhoy has also won a host of accolades, including a Caterer and Hotelkeeper Acorn Award in 2012 and this year, being named Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame awards. The chef also makes regular appearances on Sunday Brunch, The One Show, This Morning and Masterchef.