During February and March, Brindisa, in true Catalan style, will host their annual Calçotada feast in their London restaurants.
Well known nationally as a very Catalan event, the humble onion festival brings the community together – with everyone wearing long bibs and porrons (communal Spanish wine jars) full of local red wine. The calçots (onions), which are ‘shoed –calzado’ underground, covered by ridges of earth and built up in rows across Catalan fields; are then chargrilled, peeled, dipped into romesco sauce and carefully lowered from great heights into hungry mouths.
‘The Calçotada is a messy affair – it goes beyond celebrating a vegetable, it’s part of our heritage! Great fires are lit, long tables are set outdoors and bundles of calçots are piled onto the flames as we feast and drink into the night. It’s quite the performance, with grandfathers skilfully pouring porrons straight into open mouths, and hanging calçots dripping with romesco sauce” says Brindisa Kitchens’ Executive Chef, Josep Carbonell.
Exclusive to Brindisa Shoreditch and Brindisa Rupert Street, Josep has created a traditional Calçotada weekend menu, capturing the spirit and theatre of the Spanish festival. Chargrilled over Brindisa’s open flames, the calçots are accompanied by homemade romesco sauce; grilled lamb chops; Butifarra sausages; a classic white bean stew; whole grilled artichokes; roasted red peppers; and baked potatoes; with a Crema Catalana for dessert, and porrons filled with red wine and cava. This year, Josep has created a vegan Calçotada menu, offering ‘Escalivada’ flame roasted vegetables, baked potatoes with ‘sanfaina’ tomato sauce and Catalan spinach in place of the meat, with his vegan take on the Crema Catalan.
The traditional Calçotada menu (£27) and Vegan Calçotada menu (£35) will be available exclusively at Tapas Brindisa Rupert Street and Shoreditch on weekends throughout February and March, 12-5pm.
Booking is essential – email@example.com