In the spirit of embracing the new year, we had the pleasure of catching up with Eugenia Diaz, a friend of Cloudy Bay renowned for her passion for farm-to-table cuisine. Eugenia's passion for hosting and her innate talent for entertaining truly shine during the holidays.
Join us as Eugenia shares how her love for fresh produce intertwines seamlessly with the art of hosting, infusing these holidays with an irresistible blend of flavours with Cloudy Bay.
What is your favourite thing about hosting?
Hosting is one of my favourite things to do, there is such a special feeling attached to it. For me, my favourite thing is making friends and family feel at home and welcome at my dinner table, it's such a fulfilling feeling! I love creating a setting where everyone feels comfortable, where we can all relax, be ourselves and enjoy each other’s company.
What do you enjoy most about this time of year?
Definitely the food and holiday decorations! I love decorating our home with plants and making homemade Christmas decor. Cook delicious food is one of my favourite things to do so this time of the year is just the perfect excuse to invite friends over and try new recipes.
When do you start thinking about planning your Christmas entertaining and what is your thought process? Where do you get your inspiration from?
I normally start planning Christmas about a month earlier, so I am able to gather all I need. Since I like to decorate my table with flowers and plants from my garden, I need to leave the decorating part to the very last minute as they need to be as fresh as possible. I am inspired by nature and the different seasons throughout the year.
Who would you have at your dinner party, dead or alive, if you could choose anyone to join?
This is a hard question, I am happy with the friends and family I have the pleasure of enjoying my time with. There's no one else I can think of, but if I had to pick someone I would say Frida Kahlo, she's a beautiful soul and a force of nature, who would have thousands of stories to tell!
What is one component you would never forget when planning a Christmas lunch or dinner?
Fresh flowers and good wine! I think the combinations of the two make the perfect starting point to have a great time. Flowers bring the mood and set the tone, and good wine is an excellent addition to any food served. Wine and food is the perfect combination!
What do you consider to be your favourite ingredients to work with when serving food at Christmas time?
I always gravitate around the ingredients I can harvest from my garden and ingredients that are seasonal. For example, I always grow potato plants at the end of summer so the potatoes are ready to harvest by this time of year and I can have yummy organic potatoes as a side dish. Same goes with lettuce, making a fresh salad out of lettuce that has just been plucked from the garden is absolutely delicious!
What is your favourite dish to serve with Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir and why?
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc goes really well with white fish and seafood, especially oysters! I like to pair Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir with meat and cheeses, such as aged Spanish cheese, they go together so well!
What is your back up plan if the oven breaks? Is there a dish you can whip up or pivot to create with minimal effort that you know guests will still love?
That would be a bad day at the kitchen as I tend to use the oven a lot when cooking, for both main dishes and dessert! I think I could pull something together without it and my guests wouldn't notice too much. The first dish I would think of is my mother's Spanish potato salad, made with boiled potatoes, carrots and peas, shrimps and homemade mayonnaise, it is a treat!