Over the last few years I’ve started to see a massive shift with the types of photos and souvenirs I collect while traveling. Food. It’s all about the food. What it looked like, what it tasted like, if there is a cookbook associated with it and if we can replicate the experience once we’re back home. This is no exception with a visit to Melbourne, Australia nearly a year ago.

I’ve been to plenty of Tapas and Wine Bars around the world. Why on earth would Australia get it right? A very good friend introduced me to what is now an uncontrollable food crush,  MoVita. Not only was the meal exquisite…the cookbook!? Let’s just say it’s never the wrong day for a pintxos party around these parts…even half way around the world. Not only do I have a never ending wish list of recipes to make from it, the book itself is a piece of art. The photos…the design..there is so much love put into this hardcover wonder (and I love me a ribbon bookmark). Here’s a salute to you Mr. MoVita and a small sample of my favorite tasty bites.

Banderillas…let me count the ways. Tart, pickled, savory and just one gorgeous skewer of love. If you are able to find tuna stuffed olives and white Spanish anchovies it really takes the snack to a whole new obsessive level.

Te Amo por vida!

Ensalada Camera. Say hello to a new summer staple: potato, tomatoes, olives, egg, red bell peppers, onions and a tin of premium Spanish tuna. This might sound totally bland to you, but the sherry vinegar is a real tongue kicker. I’m making extra next time so there are plenty of left overs…feel free to drop in.

Salpicón De Marisco. Again with the sherry. Why have I neglected this ingredient for so long!? One bite of this seafood salad and you will find a sudden and urgent need for a patio, a setting sun and a chilled glass of rosé… Olé indeed.

Antxoa Tomate Ketua Sorbetearekin. Not that I want to play favorites…but I’m going to. On paper this small bite might scare people away…I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t for a friend so obsessed with this dish that he’s contemplated getting it tattooed on his body (with hopes of free samples for life)…I might have passed myself.

It is the dark horse of tapas…it is smoked tomato sorbet with capers and Spanish anchovies. It is a texture and temperature overload. It is something so unusually fantastic…and also the only reason I own an ice cream maker.

So there you have it Mr. MoVita. One gushy love fest, my love letter if you will. I’m totally over the moon for you, I even attempted the octopus tar tine (with a less successful outcome). I’m looking forward to future visits, more meals made at home and the new cookbook coming out in February. It’s hard not to love just about everything in Melbourne…but I am putting you at the top of my list.

OXOX The Cuisinerd XOXO