VIDEO: I love the chip butty says Spanish celebrity chef Omar Allibhoy
Celebrity chef Omar Allibhoy is bringing his taste of Spain to Yorkshire but he's fallen for our local delicacy...the chip butty!
In our exclusive video chat - watch highlights above and the full video on YouTube below - he admits he also loves fish and chips and a good Sunday roast.
He's about to introduce Yorkshire folk to Spanish food with his latest Tapas Revolution bar and restaurant at Sheffield's Meadowhall - which opens from Wednesday, March 16.
But while in Yorkshire he's discovered a real appetite for local dishes.
He said: "I love British food. I love Sunday roast and particularly, good fish and chips I have to say.
"And what I have just discovered is the chip butty.
"You know, a sandwich made out of chips. So I am bringing all my team to try it because I think it's going to be memorable."
Dubbed the ‘Antonio Banderas of cooking’ by Gordon Ramsay, he’s a man on a mission to bring the joy of authentic tapas food to the UK.
Madrid born Omar has cooked for a whole host of celebrity diners including Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Bill Nighy and Antonio Banderas himself.
Alongside his four critically acclaimed tapas bars, Omar also wrote the fastest selling Spanish cookbook of 2013 called Tapas Revolution and has made numerous TV appearances including Masterchef, The One Show, Sunday Brunch and This Morning, all in aid of revolutionising the Spanish food scene in the UK.
Sheffield is his next stop. His Tapas Revolution bar and restaurant opens at Meadowhall, in the upper Oasis dining quarter, on Wednesday, March 16.
He said: "I've been a chef all my life, so I am bringing all my grandma's and my mother's recipes, giving my professional twist on them.But this is a serious tapas bar with a lot of bars and a kitchen right t the heart of the restaurant, so that everyone can take a peek.
"Tapas are small dishes but in Spain it's more than that. Tapas are meant to be shared. In Spain we share conversation, the weather is good outside, always sunny. So we live our lives outside and share our stories. In the same way I think tapas is sort of the embodiment of that.
"Tapas for us, in the same way as in England people meet for a pint - in Spain we meet for tapas. So it's kind of the same, public house element.
"It's about building your own meal, whether you are a vegetarian or not, it's about choosing three or four different things, the combinations are endless. There is no min course with us, it's all tapas, whether you are on your own, or two or four of you - if it's four, you order 12 different things and it's so entertaining, nibbling on one and the another.It's probably more affordable because you are going to be able to share the bill at the end.
"I feel the people of Sheffield are demanding good quality, freshly made food. Here we do everything home made, as opposed to quite a lot of our competitors. We feel we will stand out in that respect.
"That's what brought me here, the demographic. There is a good economy as well and it's a lovely place.
"I opened my first Tapas Revolution bar in London five years ago, Slowly I've been growing one a year and this is the fifth I'm opening. We've grow the team, we've grown the talent and we have been able to develop with a bit of time something that is just really authentic and good quality.
Ninety per cent of my time is dedicated to the restaurants, I do a little bit of TV, I write a book here and there and give recipes to magazines to try to spread the word of good Spanish food. I make some videos for YouTube as well. But this is the core of what I do, this is what I'm passionate about. I grew up in a kitchen since I was a little boy and the restaurant is my life and the kitchen is my job place. My mission is that this becomes a TapasRevolution and not just that - we expand in terms of people starting to open tapas bars and start cooking Spanish food at home as well. All the supermarkets are filled with Spanish products and it' not that difficult.
"So hopefully, with a bit of enthusiasm and a bit of effort, people will start eating more Spanish in general."
Meadowhall, one of England’s biggest shopping and dining destinations, will be the site for Omar's fifth all-day, contemporary tapas bar concept. TapasRevolution Meadowhall will be Omar’s personal interpretation of the lively and bustling tapas bars in his hometown of Madrid, using only the finest Iberian ingredients sourced from small Artisan producers across Spain, with dishes all freshly prepared in-house by a team of Spanish chefs.
The menu is inspired by Omar’s family recipes, Spain’s rich regional cuisine and the culinary culture of sharing, socialising and eating.
Featuring a copper-topped bar, open kitchen, comfortable burnt orange leather banquettes and marble tables, the new Sheffield tapas bar wouldn’t look out of place on the busy streets of Madrid, Barcelona and Seville.
Open all day, the menu will guide diners on a culinary adventure across Spain, from breakfast in Barcelona to dinner in Seville
The menu is simply divided into five sections; El Picoteo (nibbles), Jamón Y Queso (ham), Las Verduras (vegetables), Los Pescados (fish) and Las Carnes (meats). The full tapas menu offers a large variety of small plates, cooked to perfection, complemented by the best Spain has to offer in terms of charcuterie, including their famous Jamón Iberico, hand-carved to order by a skilled Maestro Jamonero. Expect all the classics, such as tortilla, croquetas de jamon, calamares, chorizo cooked in Asturian cider, freshly-made Churros alongside some surprises of Omar’s own creation.
For those who just want to stop for a quick drink, there will be a selection of Spanish craft beers, wine from a number of small Spanish producers and array of soft drinks. Wine will be served in Catalonian style with a porrón – a traditional wine glass pitcher with a long spout that’s perfect for sharing and is used to bring extra air into each sip. Honouring Spain’s position as the biggest consumer of Gin and Tonics in Europe, Tapas Revolution will serve a range of ‘Gintonics’ as well as the only exclusively Spanish Gin menu in the country.
He and his team began with the critically acclaimed Tapas Revolution Westfield London (Shepherd’s Bush), Tapas Revolution Bluewater (Kent), TapasRevolution on Bethnal Green Road (Shoreditch) and Tapas Revolution Grand Central (Birmingham).
The new Tapas Revolution in Meadowhall, Sheffield opens Wednesday, March 16. Opening hours will be Monday to Friday ,10am to 9pm, Saturday, 9am to 8pm; Sunday, 11am tp 5pm