How To Throw A Spanish-Style Pintxo Party
Lynda Reeves takes you behind-the-scenes of this tapas-style soirée.
One of my favorite way to entertain is a cocktail party that invites your guests to graze and stay throughout the dinner hour, sipping drinks and nibbling on savory bites, plus there’s a dessert table that includes hand-dipped chocolates. Combined with signature cocktails and great conversation, what could be better?
And if you’re fortunate enough to have one of Canada’s best chefs and the team from the catering company he launched attending to your guests, you get to relax and enjoy your own party. The theme is “Pintxo Cocktail Party,” starring celebrity chef and restaurateur Grant van Gameren of Bar Isabel and Bar Raval fame, and Victor Dries, the catering company that Grant and Chris Brown launched a year and a half ago, catered the food and cocktails.
“Pincho” is the Spanish word for little spike; in Basque you would say “pintxo”. Either way, it means a “small snack,” typically eaten in bars in northern Spain and the Basque Country. It was all so delicious that we decided to ask Victor Dries to share some recipes and teach us how to make this fabulous food in our own kitchens.
Pintxos formed the foundation of our menu, along with other delightful nibbles including Grant’s famous cured serrano ham — a special variety called Jamón de Trevélez — that he carved into paper-thin slices.
This event was thrown by Scotiabank Global Wealth Management for its clients and associates at my house. Here I am enjoying my own party with Laura Curtis Ferrera the senior VP of marketing.
Make sure to hire help — a bartender, server and cleanup crew. You can either make your own food or order it from a trusted caterer. Extra hands for setting up, serving and cleaning up are appreciated for a big group of guests, which is hard to manage on your own.
CXBO provided the handmade artisanal chocolates for our hostess gifts.
Watermelon, lime, mint, rhubarb bitters and silver tequila — delicious!
Get the recipe for Mutiny On The Bounty.
A fresh, bright-tasting white fish ceviche that’s full of flavor.
Get the recipe for Ceviche Verde.
This dish is a perfect summer plate: sweet, milky cheese against the fresh green of mint and peas.
Get the recipe for Grilled Artichokes, Peas & Stracciatella.
Crispy and crunchy on the outside, and soft and creamy within. Filled with pieces of serrano ham, these bites are served with a dab of homemade aioli that you’re going to want a lot more of.
Get the recipe for Jamon Croquetas.
These colorful handhelds offer a burst of flavor in one bite.
Get the recipe for Pintxos Of Grilled Shrimp, Mushroom Leek & Romesco.
This classic Spanish snack is like a denser frittata. Full of potatoes and onions, cooked slowly in olive oil.
Get the recipe for Tortilla Española.
Dense yet light and super creamy, this is simply the best cheesecake I’ve ever made. We’re so lucky to have the recipe!
Get the recipe for Basque Cheesecake.