Gourmet Fast app

Get our Gourmet Fast app and you can download 140 recipes for your iPhone.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe or renew this month for 12 issues and you could win one of four Samsung smart TVs. Offer ends 28 September.

Gourmet on your iPad

Download the latest issue of Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

MoVida fiesta

We'd best be clear about this from the start: the recipes in our December issue's MoVida food feature are not a thoroughly traditional Spanish Christmas menu. One of the first things Frank Camorra mentioned when we started talking Christmas Español was whole boiled red cabbage. It makes sense in wintertime in Madrid, he said, but - like the braises and other seriously gutsy, fortifying dishes served in December in Spain - it probably wouldn't win too many friends Down Under. "So I've picked some dishes that are classic, but also things that I like to eat in summer, whether it's at Christmas or entertaining," he says. "They're dishes that make for a great way to have fun at the table, because you're sharing all the food and it's tactile, and it's easy to prepare, too."

Given that the MoVida brand's success is more or less based on the idea of flexibility and accessibility, underpinned by a certain Spanish finesse, it clicks. We're talking to Camorra and his business partner Andy McMahon at the latest expansion of that brand, its first outside Victoria - MoVida Sydney, on Holt Street in Surry Hills. It opened in October to packed services, and demand has scarcely let up since.

"We've enjoyed a stack of Sydneysiders coming down over the years and beating down the doors," says McMahon. "When we kicked off here in Sydney we wanted to provide an experience that was very much like the original restaurant: intimate, warm, fun, accessible." Sydney, in other words, already had a taste for the MoVida magic - all it needed was a venue.

"We didn't want to reinvent the wheel," says Camorra. "You go and see a band you really love, and if they don't play their hits, then you're pretty disappointed. We're still evolving, we're still doing new records, and the food will change - the climate's different up here, and maybe people will expect slightly different things - but generally it's going to be what people want."

And what of Christmas Day back home? A classic Christmas Day at McMahon's house, he says, would involve lots of Champagne, lots of seafood, laughs, tears, the occasional fistfight. "It's great fun, that Irish way of life - putting on a lot and seeing where the day takes you."

Camorra, meanwhile, says that for him and his partner, Vanessa Hodge, it's now about rediscovering Christmas through the eyes of their two young children and making time for family. "We like to have people outside, a bit of fun, keep the food very simple. As Andy said, it's about where the day takes you. And there's a nap involved there somewhere."

MoVida Sydney, 50 Holt St, Surry Hills, NSW, (02) 8964 7642


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Hot Plates 28 August
29.08.2014
Royal Mail gets a revamp
28.08.2014
What to eat at LP's Quality Meats
26.08.2014
Hot Plates: 2015 Restaurant Guide edition
21.08.2014
Co-owner leaves Esquire, Brisbane
21.08.2014
2015 GT Restaurant Guide: The Top 100
20.08.2014
Gourmet Fast
in your pocket

Now, here's a mighty handful: GT's Gourmet Fast recipes are available on iPhone (and iPad - and, any day now, Android)...

Read More
Win
a Messermeister Oliva Elite knife set!

We're giving away four knife sets from Messermeister's Oliva Elité range valued at more than $500 each. Find out how you can win.

Enter now
Gourmet TV

Check out our video section for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Australian chefs to follow on Instagram

There are a lot of food shots on Instagram: the good, the ba...

Where our chefs want to eat

We asked Australia's leading chefs to name the restaurants t...

Grant Achatz interview

Pat Nourse talks to the chef of Chicago’s Alinea ahead of hi...

Nahm named best restaurant in Asia

The 2014 50 Best Restaurants in Asia were unveiled this week...

Restaurants cooking with seaweed

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

On the pass

Tell us about Tomahawk’s menu, Ali...

Edible seaweed guide

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

Salute the Florentino

It’s been 85 years and the party continues at Melbourne’s be...

Sydney's best breakfast and coffee

Our favourite destinations for great coffee and unbeatable b...

Sydney restaurants for visitors

Planning a trip to Sydney? Here's our guide to some of the b...

The art of the restaurateur

Chefs usually steal the limelight, but restaurateurs are key...

On the pass

We catch up with Sam Ward from Perth's El Publico.

Pride and produce

A new website hopes to bring chefs and local producers close...

On the pass

There seems to be plenty of action in Sydney’s inner-south a...

The Chur Burger reborn

Burgers have trumped fine-dining - in one quarter of Sydney ...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.