Tapas in Paradise
" We were reluctant to leave the beautiful tropical gourmet ambiance "
In Spain, the tapas cultural allure draws worldwide attention and passion: time explicitly reserved for catching up with friends to enjoy bite-sized portions as important as the libations.
Our Bailliage highlighted this attractive Spanish tradition. Chef Tomas Cantillo beautifully featured fresh seafood and Costa Rica’s local flavours.
Fifty members and guests celebrated a lovely “Tapas in Paradise” themed event at Hotel Bahia del Sol in Playa Potrero, Guanacaste. Owner Maître Restaurateur Arnoldo Andre Tinoco with his highly professional staff pampered us stylishly at the Mangue Beachfront Tapas Bar. Its outdoor setting surrounded by lush tropical foliage has a privileged position facing the ocean.
Our arrival at this picturesque venue was just in time to enjoy a stunning fiery sunset. A citrus water infusion refreshed and cooled us on a warm summer evening. A specialty vodka and passion fruit cocktail, compliments of the house, was also served. An invigorating "Bijou" cocktail, gin, honey and lime mix prepared by Mangue Tapas Bar mixologist Jorge Piña was enjoyed.
As night fell, guests took their places at tables under the bar’s palapa area. [Ed. A palapa (a Spanish word of Tagalog origin, originally meaning "petiole of the palm leaf") is an open-sided dwelling with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves.] Tables were colour coordinated in sunset shades and named after regions of Spain. Illuminating notes on each region were available which enhanced the experience.
The menu, appropriate for the beachfront venue, was predominantly seafood. Bookended by Spanish Boca sausage at the beginning and Serrano ham with Manchego cheese to finish.
Chef Tomas served a sequence of four tapas:
- whole saffron shrimp paired with a Malbec Rosé
- grilled Mahi Mahi garnished with chickpeas and white beans exquisitely paired with a Sauvignon Blanc
- mini seafood paella
- Spanish ham and cheese board paired with a Spanish Tamaral Roble Tempranillo
Dessert was a luscious coconut-flavoured panna cotta served in a coconut shell with edible flowers.
Échanson Jorge Granados provided the attractive wines that accompanied each of the tapas.
Chef Tomas with the entire staff received much applause from everyone. We were reluctant to leave the beautiful tropical gourmet ambiance.
All in all, it was a perfectly orchestrated evening bringing everyone together in true Chaîne fashion. We enjoyed celebrating Spanish and Costa Rican cuisine and great conversations among friends.
What’s more, we raised over US$700 to support our next young chef to participate in the 2023 International Final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition in Turkey.
Vive la Chaîne!
Chargée de Presse Provinciale
Photos courtesy of Alex & Steff Photography (alexandsteff.com)