COCHINILLO, OH GOSH I’M IN CHEF’S HEAVEN – JOSE MARIA IN SEGOVIA, SPAIN

Jose Maria – the Meal There have been a few times since becoming a chef that I can truly say I have had an enjoyable and memorable meal

The suckling pig from start to finish, the kind that make you say…Great Meal!!! Two of which are birthday dinner a few years ago at Normans in Coral Gables, they are closed now another would be from a dinner I attended on a recent trip to Spain. It was in Segovia, Spain at the dinner reception for Law without Walls at famed restaurant Jose Maria owned by chef of the same name. This was an evening I most certainly won’t forget anytime soon. I was excited about this dinner because I was going to be having Cochinillo, the roast suckling pig. It is said that the roast suckling pig here is on par to that which is served in Botin, the oldest working restaurant which I visited during my stay in Madrid. Some even have said it could be better. Well, seeing as I didn’t get to have Botin’s suckling pig the jury is out eh.

After having an appetizing glass of rose and sample tapas of fried pork ribs at the bar I joined the table to meet and enjoy the company of new friends. Yep, a few more glasses of wine, reds this time from Ribera del Duergo (pago de Carraovejas). I was starting to feel…Nice. Then the meal started, I’m sorry the onslaught of yummy goodness began with a series of tapas served family style. First up was roasted lamb marinated salad with apple jam. I had forgone any large meals earlier in the day anticipating this dinner so that salad got sucked up in the vortex of hunger. It was good; I think…yes it was good. That apple jam lingers on the palette in a nice way. Before I knew it more platters of new Tapas was on the table for us to share. There were platters of Iberian Ham croquettes with glass of beet and potato chips, Picadillo – three type of pork; lean pork, bacon and cured ham – that’s pan fried and simmered until tender with onions,garlic, tomatoes and pimento (Paprika) with Morcilla and peppers; Iberian cured meats and there was that damn pork soup with butter beans, oh slap me and call me Django. It was insane I tell you. After this righteous savory indulgence one would think the belly would be full and the mouth tired…Not at all.dinner has arrived

Main course of Cochinillo was to come. If baby pig was not your choice, grilled pork and salmon with a vegetarian option were also available. Sorry, I left my vegetarian passport at the door this night. For me, what came