Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of joining my friend Katrina to a wonderful supper club evening to celebrate the new Santa Maria product launch. I know, another post that starts with “Kat kindly invited me” -(thanks, girl you’re the best!). For those of you who don’t know, my friend Katrina works at the Lady magazine and her job often involves getting approached by journalists who send and invite her to try their new food/ drink and lifestyle products. Here, we got to discover their new range of sauces, rice, seasonings, tortillas, toppings and sides, influenced by tastes from the Caribbean to Argentina. This was all cooked and prepared by chef Luiz Hara, the London Foodie and award-winning food blogger Rosana Mcphee. The event itself was hosted in the chef’s lovely home- (seriously, can I just say: HOUSE GOALS!), which really made the evening feel relaxed and more personal- we were all told to help ourselves to his fridge overflowing with delicious wine, beers and bubbly.
Upon arrival, we were each handed a yummy cocktail as we tucked into a few tapas items before the main event. I must admit, we did arrive a bit late, so we sadly only got to try one of the items on the menu (I say sadly only because I’m greedy). These were the Colombian crunchy chicken bites, served with a pineapple and chilli sauce. I was really surprised to hear that the crumb coating was part of the Santa Maria range, as it made the chicken perfectly crispy and crunchy with minimal effort – and who doesn’t love stress free crispy chicken! I think we all tend to judge that if a sauce comes in a packet, it will fail to deliver on flavours- but as we were about to discover, chef Luiz created all his delicious and high-quality plates by incorporating the different Santa Maria products, showing us all their versatility and ability to be used by both amaetuers and professionals alike.
Our menu for the evening was as follows, and bear with me because it was a lot of food (which of course, I loved!) I’ve also inserted the Santa Maria products used for each dish that was featured to show you what the chef used, as well as my own pictures of the food to properly convey just how effective the seemingly simple sauces went in transforming the dishes. You’ll be as amazed as we were, trust me.
Baked Costa Rican fish in Banana leaf
Capaccio of Mexican Chayote
(served with cheese, truffle oil, hazelnuts and the Santa Maria soured cream topping)
Brazillian Xinxim de Galinha
Argentinian Picanha of Beef
Venezuelan Cigarillas de Repollo
(Baked cabbage cigars with cashew nuts)
Arroz y Frijoles
(Served with spring greens & avocado)
So, my verdict? I was pleasantly surprised at just how flavourful the new Santa Maria range really is! I LOVED the beef, which thanks to the chef, was cooked to utter perfection. The spices gave it a rich flavour that kept me going back for seconds. I also loved the peanut sauce which was particularly tasty and made the perfect accompainment to the soft peppery tortillas. I’m all about cooking things from scratch- I’m sure every food blogger would agree, but the great thing about Santa Maria range is that it allows anyone to quickly whip up a delicious meal in only 15 minutes. I’m looking forward to trying my own concoctions thanks to the guys at Wildcard PR who gave us all a hefty bag of yummy goodies!