Celebrate food & love this Mother's Day with tashas
03 May 2022
tashas Inspired gives inspiration from kitchens around the world this Mother’s Day
tashas is inviting you to be inspired by food and art this Mother’s Day with a cosmopolitan feast, fresh from the pages of Natasha Sideris’s critically acclaimed cookbook, tashas Inspired. The menu draws from warm Paris bistros, bustling café society, Mediterranean kitchens, and sunshine-filled days in the country.
“As a child I loved spending time in the kitchen with my mother and my aunt, cooking for family gatherings. I’ve always loved the energy in the kitchen: the hustle and bustle, the laughter, the excitement and the bonding. In my family, as in Greek culture, food and love go hand in hand,” Natasha says.
From the Mediterranean Table chapter of the book, the Greek salad with whipped feta adds freshness to this Mother’s Day bounty. Served with versatile unleavened flatbreads, the whipped feta, olives, fresh tomato and herbs (for that authentic Greek flavour, Natasha recommends using dried oregano) provide the perfectly proportioned salad and create a thing of great beauty.
Alongside the salad, “Mum’s Coq au Vin”, savoury cheesecake and the fig and speculaas trifle, provide the ideal laid-back afternoon meal for lazy lunching, or dinnering.
The Coq au Vin with smoky bacon and a splash of cognac is comfort food at its best, but the secret to the dish is the home-made bouquet garni and the sweet pearl onions.
“My mother used to make her own little aromatic bags, bound in muslin or cheesecloth and tied with string, but you can buy them ready-made if you’re pressed for time. Sweet pearl or pickling onions are not always available, but in my opinion, they’re essential. I remember stealing the little pearly gems straight out of the casserole dish as a child. They are totally addictive, so add a few extra "for the pot”!”.
Cheesecake, normally saved for dessert, is very grown-up. Salty bacon, creamy gorgonzola and sprigs of time make for the ideal savoury cheese course. For a vegetarian option, use leeks instead of bacon in the filling.
Dessert highlights local flavours in the form of fig and speculaas trifle. Speculaas are thin, spicy Dutch Christmas biscuits. This recipe flavours the sponge cake with speculaas spice. It’s a wonderfully rich and spicy trifle, just as a trifle should be.
The menu can be easily prepped the day before if you’re pressed for time. All you need to do on the day is warm them up and garnish before serving. The dishes are also easily transportable, so it’s a perfect picnic menu, too.
“There’s something very special about eating al fresco under a big open sky, sharing a meal that goes on until dusk with the people you feel most at home with,” Natasha explains. “This is easy, family-style eating particularly suited to the South African way of life, because we’re blessed to have such beautiful open spaces and so many wonderful, summery days in the year.”
These recipes, along with 90 others are available in the gorgeous tashas Inspired cookbook. Published in late 2020, the book shares the inspiration Natasha has drawn from her travels as well as her Greek and Cypriot heritage. The book is divided into seven chapters – Café Society, A Spanish Affair, Le Bistro, The Levant Kitchen, A New York State of Mind, A Day in the Country and The Mediterranean Kitchen.
The book encourages home cooks to think like a restaurateur and create memorable meals by considering all the elements that lend themselves to a specific menu, including the table setting and the music. Each chapter also has a Spotify playlist to set the mood for the perfect meal with friends and family.
Published by Quivertree, the book is available at all tashas locations, leading bookstores or via the Le Parc by tashas e-commerce site.
For more information, visit: https://www.tashasgroup.com/cookbooks.
tashas was founded in Johannesburg, South Africa by Natasha Sideris. There are currently 15 locations in South Africa and five in the UAE with further expansion in the works. With beautiful food, stunning environments and engaging personal service, each tashas location is inspired by a place or a time which is reflected in both the menus and the design of each individual store.
About Tashas Group
Tashas Group is a hospitality company operating out of Dubai, UAE. The company is owned by Natasha Sideris, the Founder and CEO. The group has a very hands-on and collaborative, turnkey approach to franchising, which benefits franchisees with the experience, knowledge and systems that the team has developed over the past 16 years. Under its umbrella, Tashas Group houses five brands: tashas, Le Parc by tashas, Flamingo Room by tashas, Avli by tashas and Galaxy Bar.
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