Ben McCormack Editor of SquareMeal.co.uk presents My Taste with Bibendum Wine, a series of programmes interviewing renowned chefs and restaurateurs. Ben will chat to the guests about their love of food and wine, discovering their favourite restaurants, wines and dishes, to give you the inside track.
This month Ben is talking to Omar Allibhoy about his love of beer, wine and food and his favourite restaurants, dishes and wine matches.
THIS WEEK'S GUEST
Omar Allibhoy is creating a buzz within the UK food scene as the owner of the critically acclaimed Tapas Revolution. His book, also called Tapas Revolution was the fastest selling Spanish cookbook of 2013.
Born in Madrid, and trained by the legendary Ferran Adria of El Bulli, Omar arrived in the UK in 2008 to take over the reins at El Pirata Detapas in West London, quickly establishing it as one of London’s best tapas restaurants. Whilst there, he was featured on Channel 4’s ‘Ramsay’s Best Restaurant’, where his reputation as the ‘Antonio Banderas of cooking’ was born.
Before starting out on his own, Omar decided to put Tapas on the map, literally daubing a T for Tapas on the map of England, before setting out on his motorbike for two weeks, cooking for everyone he met along the way.
In 2010 he opened his first Tapas Revolution at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush to rave reviews. It proved so popular that within a year he had opened a second at Bluewater in Kent and by early 2015 Omar decided that London was ready for its first stand-alone Tapas Revolution, bringing his interpretation of the lively and bustling Tapas bars of Madrid to Shoreditch. In September the revolution spread outside London with the opening of the fourth Tapas Revolution at Grand Central Birmingham, which will be followed by a brand new site at Sheffield’s Meadowhall in early 2016.
As well as running a successful business, Omar has won several awards and maintained a career as a successful TV chef; In 2010 he was shortlisted for the OFM Young Chef of the Year awards, won Caterer and Hotelkeeper’s Acorn Award for ‘Rising Star’ in 2012 and was British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame Young Entrepreneur Award in 2015. His illustrious career has been accompanied by several appearances on popular television, including Sunday Brunch, The One Show, This Morning and Masterchef.
Bibendum's Beer Pick for Omar
Estrella Galicia, meaning ‘Star of Galicia,’ was founded in 1906. Named as Spain’s Brewery of the Year at the 2013 New York International Beer Competition, family-owned Estrella Galicia remains in its founding cityof A Coruna in the north-west of Spain. 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 refreshingly smooth and well balanced with a light body. It is the perfect match for tapas.