I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember. My first memories in the kitchen come from a time when I was 5 or 6 years old and used to spend hours playing with my play kitchen. I would ask my mum for real peppers, tomatoes, or herbs so that I could cook up a meal for my dolls. I can also recall myself at the age of 13, cooking dinner for my siblings, and later on in college preparing dinner parties for my friends at my family’s summer house.
All of this is to say that since I was very young, I have connected the act of cooking for others as a means of displaying love and affection. It wasn’t until my late twenties–when I discovered gastronomy and the culinary arts–that I started to discover cooking as an outlet for expressing creativity and a way to feed my endless curiosity.
When it came to mixing cooking with creativity, my first steps weren’t very successful, to be honest.
At the beginning of my gastronomic career, I stuck to replicating recipes from cooking blogs as well as the dozens of cookbooks I bought for myself., About a year later, I realized I was starting to understand the foundational principles of food preparation and culinary arts. Similar to putting a puzzle together, it started to make sense to me why certain ingredients and cooking techniques were necessary for getting a specific end result.
I figured the next logical step should be to study the ingredients themselves, such as extra virgin olive oil, olives, local vegetables, and other popular local ingredients.
I continued my studies for another couple of years, but it wasn’t enough to fuel my curiosity.
I felt that I needed more knowledge, more structure, and more context for the foods and recipes I was working with. So, I found myself diving into the history, legends and local stories associated with traditional recipes. I figured there had to be a reason people had been cooking those ingredients that way.
So, that has been my learning path in the world of culinary arts and cuisine. I found a way to make cooking interesting by focusing on elements of food and culture that piqued my curiosity and aligned with how my brain works. From this foundation, it’s been much easier for me to study and appreciate other culture’s foods (Japanese, Moroccan, Italian, and Portuguese, to name a few) and honor their culinary traditions.
I wanted to share this story with you, my dearest reader, for two main reasons:
- You now know me a little bit better.
- You understand how and why I created this dish, which is not a traditional Spanish dessert, but works because it is made of traditional and common local products.
Just wait. You´ll see.
Ingredients (makes one serving):
- 2 scoops of chocolate ice cream
- ½ sliced ripe small size banana
- 1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, AKA, EVOO (My favorite variety of olive oil for desserts is Arbequina olive from Spain)
- 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
- ½ tsp orange zest to decorate on top of the ice cream
- ½ tbsp roughly chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
- ½ tsp of Maldon salt or black Maldon salt
- 1 grater. I like my microplane pro for its versatility.
- 1 nice glass bowl to plate up the dessert.
- 1 knife and a cutting board to slice the fruit
- Start by placing the banana slices on the bottom of your bowl.
- Top the banana with the scoops of ice cream.
- Pour over the orange juice.
- Add the orange zest on top of the ice cream.
- Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
- Sprinkle some salt on top.
- Finish with a drizzle of EVOO on top of everything.
Make sure to let me know what you think when you try making this dish for yourself!