International Women’s Day menu inspired by Penélope Cruz

8th March, 2024

With a strong female team at the helm, this year for International Women’s Day on Friday March 8, Bar Lucia will feature a menu inspired by iconic Spanish star Penélope Cruz.

The menu has been created by Esmeralda Perez, Milpa Collective’s Culinary Director and owner of Bondi Beach favourites Carbon, Taqiza and Calita. Originally a chef from Chile, Perez has previously worked at Sydney’s Big Poppa’s, Kittyhawk and Icebergs.

Available only on IWD, the artistic set menu for $89 per person (minimum of two people) with each dish a delicious nod to a curated selection of films starring Penélope Cruz – think movie classics Vicky Cristina Barcelona for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Open Your Eyes and Broken Embraces to name a few.

The ancient heirloom tomato gazpacho/ oil threesome (charcoal, tarragon and chilli) is inspired by the 2008 comedy romance Vicky Cristina Barcelona in which Cruz stars opposite Javier Bardem. The Jamon Serrano Duroc Gran Reserva 18 months, a tribute to the 1992 comedy romance Jamón Jamón ,while the octopus carpaccio/braised potato mousse/nduja oil/fennel and mint salad, a reference to Abre los ojos “ Open Your Eyes” the 1997 psychological thriller opposite Eduardo Noriega – these just a preview of the tasty temptations on the menu.

The culinary cinematic adventure continues with mains including a seafood paella featuring squid ink, calamari, mussels, prawns and scallops, or there is a pork belly paella with morcilla, capsicum in a romesco sauce.

The vegetarian menu is equally artistic with highlights such as the stuffed padron peppers with Meredith goat cheese, romesco and smoked almonds – a nod to the 2012 Italian feature Venuto al mondo “Twice Born”. A tasty inclusion too is the bbq figs, quince, fennel fronds with mandarin olive oil and pepper inspired by 2019’s Dolor y gloria “Pain and Glory” opposite Antonio Banderas. The vegetarian paella features saffron, wild mushrooms, green olives, artichoke and arugula rocket. Dessert is a must with Crema Catalana, with strawberries and pepper, and a flan with manchego cheese, mandarin olive oil, balsamic reduction.

The menu will be complemented by wines from MEREDITH a boutique wine label that produces natural wines and drinks from various regions across Australia. Founder and winemaker Mem Hemmings has a passion for exploring the diversity and potential of native grape varieties, as well as experimenting with different fermentation methods and styles. Established in 2022, MEREDITH celebrates the beauty and diversity of Australian wine, made by a woman who loves what she does. The wine list was curated by Kasia Sobiesiak, a freelance wine writer, educator and former sommelier.

The Penélope Cruz inspired menu will be exclusively available only on Friday March 8 in celebration of International Women’s Day.

See the menu below: