A significant change on British menus over the past decade has been the closer, more conspicuous, collaboration between chefs, restaurateurs and their suppliers, whether growers, farmers or importers.
One of the most influential but hitherto singularly under-appreciated importers during this period has been Monika Lavery who opened Brindisa 13 years ago to supply restaurants with the best Spanish produce. Those to be found on a tapas bar near you range from pata negra, top-quality Spanish ham to olive oils, Ortiz tinned tuna and anchovies and, most distinctively, mojama - wind-dried tuna from Cadiz.
At last Brindisa has a retail presence five days a week at 32 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1 (tel 020 7713 1666). Not surprisingly, this shop is right next door to Moro (tel 020 7833 9338) the restaurant which with the help of Brindisa's ingredients has converted so many to the culinary delights of the Iberian peninsula.
Brindisa's shop will be open Tuesday-Friday, 1000-1800, Saturday 0900-1700. See www.tapas.co.uk and www.brindisa.com for details of mail order and how to cook with Spanish ingredients.