A Taste of Spain: Inspiration Behind The Tapas Collection
A few years back, I traveled to Spain with my sister Marcie and my daughter, Kyle. Little did I know at the time that this trip would inspire an entire collection-one of my favorite collections to this day. We visited multiple cities while in Spain including Barcelona, Seville, Toledo, Madrid and Cordoba. Don’t ask me to pick a favorite because I simply cannot! Each city offered something so unique and special.
When traveling I always bring my sketchbook with me, it does not leave my side. I use it to capture memories while I am creating them, that way I don’t forget a single detail. I often sketch different shapes or patterns that inspire me and keep a roll of tape in my bag to place various business cards and restaurant receipts onto the pages. I write down notes alongside them to remember what I liked, what I didn’t, and how I would recreate a dish, by adding my personal spin.
The Spanish culture celebrates every day. Really, they do! I love the way all generations come together so effortlessly. It wasn’t uncommon to see a grandparent walking down the alley alongside a grandchild late at night or to see all ages gathered around a table, enjoying course after course of delicious food. Every dish has meaning and history, which in of itself is unique. People in Spain are out and about, always enjoying each other’s company, celebrating in the best of ways…through food! And let me tell you, they’ve got this figured out. They don’t sweat the details. They focus on the people gathered; something I strive to remember every time I entertain.
My love for tapas grew with every meal in each Spanish city. Like in most countries, dishes are prepared and served differently in the northern and southern parts. We were fortunate to experience new dishes that were unique to each region. Many tapas bars had their dishes displayed on the counter and we could simply point to what we wanted. Some restaurants had a printed tapas menu that was fun to fill out. Imagine a sushi menu, but in Spanish! There was no rush and no pressure when ordering. In Spain, you are at the mercy of the chef, as far as timing goes and when you’re served. Sometimes I would order one dish at a time, and sometimes I would order multiple. Getting the server’s attention was always a challenge- but a fun one. Because of the atmosphere, you need to be assertive and almost a tad bossy to get your order in. A challenge we accepted!
How the food was served was the true inspiration behind our tapas collection. In every tapas bar small bites were uniquely placed on all shapes and sizes of platters, plates, and bowls. Each time the server arrived with a new dish, it was a new experience- both culinarily and aesthetically.
We were able to capture so many memories in each piece of the Tapas Collection. Every time I entertain with these pieces, I am reminded of this special trip with my daughter and sister, and thankful we were able to create this collection together.
I hope these pieces inspire to you celebrate every day, just like the Spaniards.