No cocktail party is complete without a spread of tapas—paired with a refreshing glass of sangria, of course. This Spanish version of appetizers has been so popular that they have become a must-have at many local bars. Here’s the good news: You don’t need to spend every Friday night out to enjoy tapas with friends. Recreating them at home is not only a possibility but also quite easy.
Inspired by his travels around the world, New York-based Chef Noel dela Rama shares new ways to prepare tapas as well as some tips in throwing together entertaining parties at home with little effort at his Tapas and Cocktails Class at The Maya Kitchen.
The fun and interactive 4-hour session has participants learning to create their own Fideua, Tortilla de Espagnola, Grilled Chorizo and Chicken Skewers with Aioli, Red sangria, and White sangria. Open to all culinary enthusiasts with discerning palates, Chef Noel’s class teaches practical tips on making those famous bite-sized eats, perfect for hosting festive cocktail parties or spending laidback Friday nights at home.
Chef Noel has been a private chef, caterer, and culinary instructor for almost two decades. After graduating from the University of the Philippines, he followed his passion for cooking and earned his culinary chops at the most prestigious culinary schools in America. His culinary adventures heated up after his stint at the International Culinary Center in Soho when he decided to go back to school to take up pastry arts and leave his full-time job at The Essex House. Not too soon after, he began catering private dinners and events all over New York.
He now divides his time between New York and Manila, flying from one city to the next every six months, serving his brand of farm-to-table cuisine to the metro’s prominent diners. With his wealth of experience, he is considered a go-to private chef for creating intimate dining experiences and preparing conceptualized multi-course meals—a job he enjoys as it allows him to share his love for cooking. For Chef Noel, cooking is for everyone and it shouldn’t be an intimidating task. With the right guidance, anyone can prepare and enjoy a sumptuous meal at home for their loved ones and friends.
At his Tapas and Cocktails Lifestyle Class, Chef Noel proves that this is indeed true by showing the participants that they can throw an epic yet hassle-free house party with a delectable selection of food and drinks. “Hosting at home can be simple and fuss-free, especially if you start planning well in advance,” Chef Noel shares. “It all boils down to learning how to efficiently use the available ingredients in your kitchen. And to not stress over the small stuff.”