Chef Andrew Novak
A Taste of Spain
At Tapas Gitana, waves of steam steeped in saffron, chorizo, and seafood stock rise from paella pans and dishes featured on ABC's Hungry Hound to carry palates away to Barcelona. Cold tapas twine ingredients such as avocado, Seranno ham, and Manchego cheese, and hot tapas exhibit tiger prawns that fuel the sharing and conversation of small-plate dining. On the outdoor patios, glasses of wine clink together and effuse stories of sun-soaked Spanish grapes the hue of a matador's sports car. Chef Andy Novak appeared in a culinary demonstration hosted by Sheridan Road magazine, in which he cloaked sizzling shrimp in lemon and Arbol chilies to forge a dish ideal for serving with pasta or distracting party guests from cartoon-silhouette holes in walls. Chef Novak's annual visit as Celebrity Chef at the beautiful outdoor kitchen of the Chicago Botanical Gardens in Glencoe is always standing room only, He brings an entertaining and educational demonstration. He also brings samples for all to try afterward.
Tapas, meaning “to cover”, originated in Andalucía, Spain, in the days when wine or sherry were served with a slice of ham or chorizo sausage placed over the mouth of a wine glass. Tapas are simply different kinds of food served in small portions. Tapas represents a Spanish style of eating and way of life adaptable to America because of their informal and creative potential, since tapas are as varied as the chef's who create them. To eat tapas-style is to eat by whim, free from rules and schedules. Tapas are ideal for those who love to have a good time while enjoying good food.