2000s Archive

Cooking Schools: A Taste of Spain

A one or two day program in Barcelona, Spain. See Gourmet’s full list of the world’s best cooking schools.
A Taste of Spain

Ham at Barcelona’s famous La Boquería market.

The whirlwind shopping trip through this city’s famous La Boquería market with my enthusiastic guide—chef Jaume Brichs—jump-started my half-day Catalan cooking class with the culinary tour company A Taste of Spain. Jaume let the seasonal fare in the market steer our menu. Since it was Monday, and fresh fish wasn’t available, he chose salt cod. He also snapped up such winter delicacies as trumpet and chanterelle mushrooms, along with a couple of plump, ruby-red pomegranates. With our booty in tow, we drove to the warm, spacious kitchen of Anne Marie Aznarez, one of the tour company’s owners, who lends out her home in a quiet northern corner of Barcelona for the classes. There, we cooked a feast based almost entirely around bacallà—salad with cod and frisée tossed with a romesco dressing; cod fritters; and a fish stew. After two hours of fast-paced instruction, we sat down to a traditionally relaxed meal in Anne Marie’s dining room, which overlooks Tibidabo mountain. In warmer weather, lunch is served on her large terrace. (011-34-934-17-07-16; atasteofspain.com; $455 for a half-day class for two people with lunch, $280 per person for six)

What I Learned

The easy way to seed a pomegranate: score the skin and pound the fruit with a pestle.

Biggest Surprise

That the natural gelatin found in cod can emulsify an oil-based sauce.

Before You Go

A Taste of Spain will customize classes—by size and by skill level—so be specific about your needs.

Where to Stay

The reasonable, stylish Hotel Pulitzer (011-34-934-81-67-67; hotelpulitzer.es; from $215), a quiet hotel off the central Plaça de Catalunya.

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