Visiting a typical Spanish market, buying the best produce and then learning how to cook traditional Spanish dishes, is a must when visiting Barcelona.
Paella, gazpacho, tortilla española, pan con tomate, crema Catalana. If you’ve been in Barcelona for more than 5 minutes you will see sign after sign offering a meal with these stars. They are all typical Spanish meals that are hearty, delicious and surprisingly very easy to make. So do yourself a favor and spend a day learning the secrets that go into these amazing dishes, so you can bring a bit of Spain home with you.
After a bit of research, it became evident that BCNKitchen was the best option for a cooking class in Barcelona. The group sizes were small (no more than 12 people to a class), they take you to the best markets and their classroom is located in El Born - one of the coolest neighborhoods in Barcelona. Oh and they also give you all the Spanish wine you can drink, before, during and after the class!
Class Starts with a Trip to the Market
There are a several different types of classes offered at BCNKitchen, but because I love going to local markets I wanted to make sure that our class included a trip to a local market, so we went with the combination class. Our class started at 10:30 and as soon as we arrived, we were offered refreshments as we waited for rest of the group to arrive...don't judge it was 5:00 somewhere!
Led by Chef Amelia (our instructor for the day), we set off to the less crowded, Santa Caterina market, to do a bit of exploring and to buy a few ingredients. Just being around the locals, listening to the Catalan roll of their tongues and learning about all the different ingredients was just fascinating! I thought I knew my tomatoes, but after seeing the 20 different Spanish tomatoes, I was put in my place. Chef Amelia showed us the different meats, olive oils, the spices and everything in between. The best part - we didn't look like one of “those tourist groups,” are group was small and there were no necessary flags or banners to keep us corralled. I would have done this class just for the market experience
The Cooking Begins
Eventually we made our way back to the classroom, where we were served more wine, and given an overview of what we would be making. We cooked as a group, all getting to do a bit of everything. Chef led the show, but we all pitched in, between story swapping and sipping wine.
We learned how to make gazpacho, pan con tomate (an no it’s not just putting tomatoes on top), paella, crema catalana and a delicious tortilla española. The experience was hands on, fun and really helpful, plus we didn't have to worry about cleaning dishes afterwards. As it turns out, Spanish cuisine is simple, it just relies on the best ingredients possible and a few tricks.
Once our dishes were complete, we all sat down, family style and dug it. There was way too much food, yet somehow we all managed to finish everything.
Feel free to download the recipes of all these traditional Spanish dishes!