Old El Paso
Ever since I first left the UK to travel at 18 years old, travelling was definitely a part of what I loved to do the most. The culture, the food, the locals, the markets; I'm so lucky to have been to so many places from Europe, to Asia, to America. And the next place to pin down is South America. Having a job and a flat means this may be a way off for now but that doesn't mean I can't get a bit of Mexican in my life which is how I ended up spending my evening with Old El Paso at Food at 52 with Masterchef winner and Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt.
Starting with an introduction of margaritas and hearing from the team who had travelled Mexico to learn the flavours, it got me lusting again to go away and immerse myself in a foreign place. Especially after the tequila hit me with a few too many cocktails...
But the real joy was learning to cook with their new Restaurante range and with a choice of pork, chicken or beef, we were spoilt for choice. Now I don't know one student or young graduate who hasn't ever bought the Old El Paso kits when you want an easy dinner to impress housemates. I'm no cook (as many would tell you) but even I can manage the packs and actually feel a bit proud at the end result.
It's communal eating which is something I feel we miss out on in the UK. We all just cook some pasta, grab a bowl and sit in front of the telly. But food like Spanish and Mexican is a social event almost, picking and putting together from a whole table, chatting and laughing at each other as you overfill it and try something new when someone suggests a new topping.
My favourite by far was the steak and I think I had the majority of the plate but it was the finest cooked and seasoned beef I've ever had (although could you tell how much I loved the bright purple cabbage?) I should say that whilst we cooked our own, the actually feast they prepared for us afterwards was oodles better. Funnily enough. But we mingled with cocktails and beers, tried new flavours, learnt tips and the history of the brand and tequila, and generally had a relaxing evening of some of the finest food there is.
Either way all its done is further prove my love for a brand, not only by learning behind what makes them and where they get their influence from, but because it's so easy to cook and so damn tasty. Knowing it's authentically crafted from Mexico means next time you bring your friends around for a dinner party during the Bake Off, then using Old El Paso is the only way to do it.
Thanks so much to Old El Paso and Food 52 for the super tasty and super educational evening. After speaking to the amazing women there, you can do some fab cooking courses at Food 52 so have a cheeky peek of their website here for a treat.