Potato Tapas with spicy tomato sauce and sour cream, paella with grilled fish, shrimps and roasted peas. Toast covered with caviar and salmon, that's what I indulged in all last night.
What better way can you imagine spending your Tuesday night sampling different dishes of Spanish food, by a chef flown in from Spain?
As we arrived to the tasting night that we were invited to at Risas, we were warmly greeted by the organizer and one of the people behind the Tapas idea, Amr Shamel. We were quickly taken to a high table to sit and enjoy the Tapas experience, one you don't encounter here in Egypt.
We started off the dinner with soup, not your regular run of the mill soup, it was cold with ice cubes inside, gave us a feeling of how cool and bizarre this tasting was going to be like.
Amr told us all about the story of how he and his partner Karim El Beblawy brought Tapas to Cairo. They were both big fans of the cuisine when they were in Spain and they saw great potential for it in Egypt, due to the wide variety of food that could be used. From lamb to seafood and even deserts, Tapas seemed like the perfect different concept this city so badly needed.
As for the chef who exquisitely made our night with his food, Paco Guzman came all the way from Spain to bring us the delectable dishes. Paco has been studying and working in the culinary field since he was 14 years old in Barcelona. Being so fond of traveling the world, experiencing other cultures and cooking for people, he traveled to Japan and worked there for a couple of years.
Back to his homeland, Paco became the chef of one of the most famous restaurants in Hondarribia, Ramon Roteta. Paco then opened up his own restaurant that he built with his own hands and after 14 years in the business he had to close it down for managerial problems. As crazy as life can be, and through different cooking expeditions and friends, he got to know Shamel.
Paco always thought that Egypt was an exciting place and was curious to explore its culture. Although his visit to Cairo is only for four days, he’s enjoying the people, the food and the Egyptian cooking ingredients that are very different to what is available in Europe.
Like most foreigners, he's navigated the streets of Egypt and has gotten his hands on some of our local delicacies, like vine leaves, chicken liver, white cheese with tomatoes, shawerma and falafel. He thinks Tahina is amazing and that Egypt’s Falafel is the best he's tried so far.
Paco is looking forward to adding Egyptian ingredients to his cooking. “Learn and share” is Paco’s belief of success and healthy way of living. He thinks that the best way you can share and communicate is through food and his passion for cooking.
The tasting nights are going on till Saturday and based on the tasting this week, Shamel and Biblawy will decide what Tapas will be staying at Risas, what suits our local tastes and what comments need consideration.
WE SAID THIS: If you want to enjoy this culinary experience hurry up and reserve your spot as this will only be available from Tuesday 14th till Thursday the 16th of May. From 5 PM until 10 PM
For Reservations please call 01097388888 Or 0127388888