During this current rotation of traders at Trinity Kitchen, Dan and I were given the opportunity to spend a bit of time with, and sample the delicious morsels from Hay Latin America. Owner Fred Parkes and the gang hail from our West Yorkshire neighbour Huddersfield and they we very keen to share with the people of Leeds their take on South American food. Fred spent a number of months travelling through the southern parts of Latin America (Argentina, Chile) and was so inspired by the flavours he wanted to recreate them back home. We were particularly keen to chat to Fred given we’re holding our own Latin American event next month and wanted some insider advice!
The stall itself serves up a range of different Latin American foods, including empanadas, quinoa and alfajores. The menu is constantly changing and has previously included Brazilian dough balls, Chilean hotdogs and most recently Chivitos – Uruguay’s national dish which is essentially a beautiful steak sandwich!
On our visit we sampled a number of dishes including…
Chicken and sweet potato empanadas
Gold crescents of beautifully short, crisp pastry (which is made in house daily) and generously filled with tender rotisserie chicken and spiked with paprika and herbs. I could literally gobble down loads of these. Delicious. For non meat eaters the Hay team also have spinach and ricotta and also a mushroom variant. We also got to see some empanadas made in action. Exciting stuff!
Quinoa and Chicken Salad
The quinoa was spiked with tomatoes, red onion, mint and lemon – very Ottolenghi-esque and felt like it was doing you good from the moment it touched your mouth! The chicken was the same rotisserie chicken from the empandas and was once again flavoursome and juicy. For veggies, the salad is served with guasacaca, the Venezualan equivalent of guacamole which is packed full of leafy herbs.
For anyone who has had a peek at our previous Latin American events, you’ll know we love an alfajore! Buttery, crumbly shorbread biscuits sandwiched with all manor of fillings (traditionally dulce de leche or chocolate). Hay Latin America’s alfajores were delicately short and delicious to boot. alongside the traditional chocolate and caramel fillings, it was great to see the use of local ingredients in the form of a rhubarb filling – bringing a Yorkshire twist!
Fred also gave us a sample of Torrentés white wine, an Argentinian variety which was beautifully crisp, sharp yet full bodied. Perfect with a fistful of empanadas!! Whilst the wine isn’t for sale, there are a range of Latin American beverages on offer including Inca Cola, coffees and green teas.
It was great to see how passionate Fred was about this business and was keen to let people know all about Latin American food – perfect timing I’d say given the focus on the World Cup! Prices at Hay Latin America range from £1.10 for the smaller bites to £6.50 for the bigger plates which is a bargain. Get yourself over to Trinity Kitchen before the residency ends, although you can catch the team at World Feast every month on Briggate and also over in Huddersfield.