tapas banquet

Last Sunday was Father’s Day here in Australia.

The Man and I reckon our dads are pretty tops. They are always so generous with their time and hospitality, so it was definitely time to do something for them.

tapas banquet

My dad, in particular, loves Spain and its food (in fact he even RSVPd to our invitation in Spanish!) so a tapas banquet seemed appropiate. With both sets of parents, The Man’s brother and his partner joining us, there were eight of us all up (my brother and sister-in-law live overseas).

Apart from my killer paella (if I do say so myself) I haven’t really cooked any Spanish food before. But I’m always up for a good challenge in the kitchen.

tapas banquet

Quite a spread, you say? Well that’s not even including the hot food and dessert! There may or may not have also been copious amounts of wine.

Here’s the full menu:

Cold tapas

Marinated olives

Pickled calamari

Tapenades (eggplant and capsicum)


Tuna-stuffed peppers*

Manchego cheese

Herbed goat’s milk cheese


Vienna loaf

Olive sourdough loaf

Hot tapas

Potato and chorizo tortilla*

Lamb meatballs with romesco sauce*

Croquettes with bechamel sauce*

Chorizo and mushrooms*


Crema Catalana




Sauvignon Blanc

The dishes that I made are the ones marked with an asterisk. My brother-in-law and his partner made the delish crema catalana – with a blowtorch no less! The croquettes and meatballs seemed to be crowd favourites.

tapas banquet

This type of menu is a lot of work because instead of having one dish for each of three courses, you have to prepare a dozen smaller dishes. You also have to keep jumping up and into the kitchen to cook and serve the hot food.

I don’t want to put you off, though, it’s definitely do-able. You can keep it manageable by buying items that don’t need any preparation (like the cheese, jamon, bread, olives etc), starting with all the cold food laid out and limiting the amount of hot food. I also prepared as much as possible ahead of time, going so far as cooking the meatballs and sauces so I just had to heat them up.

tapas banquet

I don’t normally buy new servingware for a particular occasion but it was time to freshen up my collection with a few new versatile pieces that were not more white platters. I picked up the stoneware for as little as $1 each from Ikea after realising it perfectly matched another you-wouldn’t-guess-how-cheap-it-was recent purchase: the itty bitty black bottle you can see also on the table. The rustic timber chopping boards (a set of 3 from Target) were another steal – $14 down from $35 thank-you-very-much.

Oh, and the branches with the berry-looking things? Totally picked them up off the side of the road the day before.

tapas banquet

Because I’ve been so busy with the business, we haven’t entertained much this year. Actually, I haven’t even cooked much decent food at all this year! I’ve really missed cooking, especially for family and friends, so I enjoyed this a lot. Most importantly, the Dads and everyone seemed to have a great day.

Local readers, how did you spoil your dad? And US friends, tell us how did you celebrate your Labor Day?


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