One of the things on my list of 100 Things is to do a cooking class in Spain. I’m not sure why Spain specifically given I usually do a cooking class wherever I travel but for some reason Spain made it on there as a stand alone item.
Before I even arrived in Barcelona I had researched the local cooking schools and found one teaching a tapas class which included jamon croquettas, one of my favourite tapas dishes. I was all booked in and then a couple of days before I was due to arrive the class was cancelled. I had already missed out on doing a pattiserie class in Paris so I was quite disappointed I would miss out in BCN too. A couple of hours of internet searches later and I found one which suited my availability and budget. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to learn but it was something. Well this was definitely one of those situations where losing what you wanted meant finding something even better…
The morning of my class I made my way down La Ramlas to Placa Reial where the school was located. Once there I was pretty much lost. I found the bar which was supposed to be near the school and a very nice man, who spoke no english, took pity on me and insisted on helping me find someone who could help me. Several bewildered looking people couldn’t be sure I was in the right place and I was getting a bit nervous. At this point a young Spanish man appeared and asked if I was there for the cooking and lots of relieved smiles later I was on my way.
My young Spanish friend invited me to join him at the market while we shopped for the ingredients. I looked around for the other students and began wondering what the hell was going on? My experience did not seem to match the description on the website and my young guide did not seem especially confident.
We made our way back to Placa Reial and up a few flights of stairs until we came to a beautiful loft apartment where the class would take place. At this point I realised why I was then only person on the market tour….I was the only person in the class! My group cooking class had been severely under-booked and I was about to enjoy a big treat – a cooking class in Spain with just the chef, the translator and me!
What followed was 3 of the best hours of my trip! A private lesson learning how to make an authentic paella (the look on his face when I told him a lot of Australians put chorizo in a paella was priceless), mussels, spanish omelette, patatas bravas and catalan creme, followed by a tapas tasting and sit down lunch with the chef and translator. I finally got the recipe book via email a couple of weeks ago adn can’t wait to try the recipes out at home… and yes, squishing the prawn heads into the paella is necessary for the flavour!
If you happen to be in Barcelona, definitely check out Just Royal BCN.