Callejeando Food Fest

callejeandocallegeando programme

This weekend you can enjoy the best of street food at Muelle de Las Delicias next to the Seville port. There will be 15 participants serving up everything from burgers to desserts, along with workshops, music and other special events. Click on the programme to enlarge the image or have a look at the Callejeando Food Fest Website.

Be there or be square.

Andalucía Sabor 2015

andalucia sabor 2015
This year saw the 5th edition of the Andalucian Fine Food Exhibition (Andalucía Sabor), which was held in the Palacio de Congresos from September 14-16.

This biennial event is organised by the Department of Agriculture, Fishing and Rural Development of the Junta to promote the best of Andalucian produce and gastronomy to a world market. It brings together professionals from every part of the gastronomic world from primary producers, through the Consejos Reguladores to chefs, wholesalers and distributors, and the press. As well as the exhibition stands activities include tastings of oil, ham and wine, ham cutting and cooking competitions and demonstrations, and round table discussions.

In other years I have focussed on the conferences but this year I spent most of my time checking out the products and watching the presentations and workshops. Here are a few of the highlights…

Continue reading “Andalucía Sabor 2015”

Taller Andaluz de Cocina

Taller Andaluz de Cocina (Andalusian School of Cooking) is the creation of three young food professionals, José Manuel, María and chef Victor, who opened the school seven months ago. I’d already met the team, and had been meaning to take the class, so when I received an invitation the other day I jumped at the chance.

taller andaluz 12 junio 2015 (1)María, José Manuel, Victor

The school is a new purpose built facility inside the Triana market, fully equipped with all the necessary modern appliances, and spotlessly clean, and with ample space for up to 16 students to enjoy a hands-on learning experience. Its location in a historic market gives both a connection to the traditions of Andalusian cooking and a ready supply of fresh ingredients.

taller andaluz 12 junio 2015 (2)sangría o’clock!

taller andaluz 12 junio 2015 (6) hands-on cooking experience

After meeting our classmates to be (English, German and American visitors), we started with a half-hour tour of the market with María, who took us to some of the stalls selling traditional Spanish produce, including jamones, cheeses, olives and cooking essentials like top quality tomatoes and other veggies, and explained what we were seeing. Along the way María also picked up the fresh ingredients for our class.

taller andaluz 12 junio 2015 (4)Victor showing us how its done

Then it was time to cook, under the capable supervision of Victor, who conducted his demonstrations in excellent English. For this class we were preparing three very typical Spanish dishes – Salmorejo, one of the traditional cold soups of Andalucía, Spinach with Chickpeas, flavoured with cumin, and an authentic Valencian paella.

taller andaluz 12 junio 2015 (3)blending the salmorejo

taller andaluz 12 junio 2015 (7)preparing espinacas con garbanzos

taller andaluz 12 junio 2015 (5)starting the all-important sofrito for the paella

I like to think of myself as an above-average home cook, but I did learn some interesting tidbits of information. I knew already that a paella is actually the wide flat pan that the rice is cooked in, and that a “seafood paella” is technically not a paella – which is properly a country dish made from chicken and/or rabbit, though most people are not too precious about the terminology. And Victor confirmed that adding chorizo to paella is an absolute no-no.

taller andaluz june 12 2015

But new for me was learning how to make a proper sofrito, a basic ingredient in many Spanish dishes consisting primarily of onions and peppers sautéed in olive oil, along with tomatoes and garlic (added at the end). The sofrito we made that day was much more layered and flavourful than others I’d made before. I also learned a few new cooking tips, including one for chopping up onions really small and how to easily separate the bones of chicken legs and wings, part of which consists in having a super sharp knife but you also have to know where to cut. Oh, and once the rice goes into the paella nobody, but nobody, touches it until it’s done.

taller andaluz 12 junio 2015 (8)paella perfection

Best of all, once the cooking was finished, we got to eat the fruits of our labours (along with a nice glass of wine), and I have to say that the results were delicious. The paella was a revelation, much the best I’ve ever had, and the salmorejo and spinach were top notch too. For dessert Victor whipped up a fabulous lemon sorbet and cava drink which was a light and delicious way to end our meal.

taller andaluz 12 junio 2015 (10)

Many thanks to our hosts José Manuel, María and Victor. This was not only fun way to spend a Saturday morning, it was also a great learning experience which I heartily recommend to anyone interested in cooking, including total beginners. Check out their website for the different classes offered.

Taller Andaluz de Cocina
Mercado de Abastos Triana 75-77
Tel: +34 672 162 621

Chef & Company

chef co (1)

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The other day I spent a lovely afternoon at Chef & Company, a new culinary school started up by Carmen de Lara last December. Carmen has lived abroad for many years, a large part of that time in Portugal, and has recently returned to her native Sevilla. The concept of Chef & Company is a simple one: to create a comfortable and relaxed environment in which to teach people how to enjoy making food. It’s a lovely ambiance, like walking into someone’s home, first passing through the cosy living room and then into the cheerful well-equipped kitchen.

chef co (4)

a real hands on cooking class

I love how relaxed and “Julia Child” Carmen is in the kitchen, easily chatting and pouring wine while preparing dishes. We enjoyed a special “St Patrick’s Day” lunch, which included pumpkin, turnip and portobello soup with Guinness bread, Irish beef pot pie, and apple crumble with ice cream for dessert. As this was a media event for food journalists and bloggers some of the food had been previously prepared, but we all had a chance to get involved.

chef co (2)
Chef & Company classes and workshops are limited to 12 people and last approximately four hours. Custom cooking classes are also available, as are private dinners, and can be given in Spanish, Portuguese and English. I had a great time and look forward to trying some other classes in future.

Chef & Company
Jesús de la Vera-Cruz 27
Tel 697 118 252

Málaga | Laboratoria de Sabores

laboratorio de sabores
While I was out on a Soho Graffiti Tour with my friend Victor @welovemalaga during my recent Málaga Getaway, we turned a corner and Victor suddenly said, “you have to come and meet these people!”. Clearly we had stumbled upon a cooking class in session but co-owners Luís and Amparo were happy to take turns showing me around and telling me all about the Laboratoria de Sabores (the Flavour Lab). It is primarily a space where students learn the art of Mediterranean cooking in a relaxed and very “hands on” environment. Amparo is clearly passionate about keeping the old-style cooking alive and showed me several examples of not only dishes “on the verge of culinary extinction” but also of once-popular food items that are seldom used these days. Her mission is to keep these traditional recipes alive, and from what we saw being prepared by the students that morning, it is indeed a worthy mission.

Aside from offering a variety of cooking classes (beginners, fusion, vegetarian, cooking for singles, cooking for couples, kids classes…), the Lab can also be booked by others to use for their own classes, wine tastings, or private dinners. It’s a lovely and bright space, and Luís and Amparo are clearly in love with what they are doing. Do check them out if you’re spending some time in Málaga and would like to learn more about Mediterranean cooking. Week-long gastronomic holidays can also be arranged, including accommodation.

Laboratoria de Sabores
Duquesa de Parcent 6
tel 951 391 487 / 634 552 625
Laboratoria de Sabores Website

Olive Oil Tasting Carts

olive oil tasting cars
This is a fabulous idea! Fifty olive oil tasting carts will be placed around the centre of Sevilla 5-7 and 12-14 December – you can have a look here to see the exact locations. They will be out and about from 10.30 – 14.30 offering four types of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Arbequina, Cornicabra, Hojiblanca and spicy Picual) with fresh bread for dipping. Don’t forget to pick up the little brochure with info about the different oils and a few recipes using each of them. What a great way to learn more about this wonderful product.

Aceites de Oliva – Toda una Experiencia

Alternatours Sevilla

sevilla alternatours

Introducing my new Alternatours Sevilla page.

One of the things my Sevilla Tapas Tour clients always ask me is what other tours or activities might be of interest to them while they are visiting Sevilla. Bear in mind that these are people who have already chosen a customised food and wine tour and are looking for the same sort of quality and personal attention. Over the years I’ve found a few that I can personally recommend with confidence, but I’m always on the look out for more. So I have started a new blog page where I can list these personal recommendations.

Tours, activities, gastronomy, shopping and entertainment. Places of interest.

If you’d like to be listed here get in touch and let me know about what you do.
Note: all tours and activities must be available in English.


Alternatours Sevilla

Travel & Cuisine Cooking Class

travel & cuisineI have long been looking for a Spanish cooking class in Sevilla that is offered in English because so many of my Sevilla Tapas Tour clients and visiting friends ask me about this. With friends I can oblige with a quick and casual “class” at home, but I really wanted to find a reputable place that could also show people a good time while learning about Spanish cuisine.

A couple of weeks ago I happened to mention this to my friend, tour guide Sam Lister @AndaluciaSam, and he told me about a local company called Travel & Cuisine @TravelCuisine1, run by Amelia Gómez and her husband, chef Jorge Rideo, along with their colleague Meli Rubio. And as my journo friend Fiona Watson @Seville_Writer also has clients who would be interested in cooking classes we arranged to do a class with T & C to see if we would be comfortable recommending them personally.

Well, we not only had a great time – and a great lunch – but we were also very happy with the quality of the class and Travel & Cuisine’s fabulous kitchen classroom. It was exactly what I had been looking for…

Continue reading “Travel & Cuisine Cooking Class”

Supper Club

I blame my iPhone. Used to be that I would polish off at least a book a week, but ever since I got Pippin that number has dwindled to an embarrassing handful a year (!). Which is why it’s taken me a couple of weeks to get around to enjoying Kerstin Rodger’s Supper Club.

You may recall that Kerstin (aka @MsMarmitelover) visited Sevilla awhile back and was my houseguest for a fun & food filled weekend. Well, she also very generously risked going over her RyanAir baggage weight allowance and brought me a copy her fabulous book Supper Club – my own signed copy!

And it is truly a delightful read.

Sandwiched between an extremely useful step-by-step section on how to start up your own underground restaurant and a fun collection of themed dinner ideas are lots and lots of scrumptious recipes with beautiful photos. Being pretty much vegetarian (the occasional bit of fish is becoming even more occasional) Kerstin invited other “secret supper” chefs to share their favourite meat dishes. It’s a book full of heart and humour and I can’t wait to try out some of the recipes. I am also now extremely envious of all those people on Twitter talking about what an amazing time they had at this or that Supper Club evening…

For more foodie fabulousness check out Kerstin’s blogs:
The English Can Cook
The English Can Eat

Supper Club by Kerstin Rodgers

Telva Cooking Classes at La Raza

Yesterday evening I was invited to an inauguration class given by the Telva Cooking School that was being hosted at the Hostería del Prado. We were a group of press, photographers and bloggers who were also all foodies at heart. During the hands-on participation class we were shown how to make a three-course meal consisting of: crispy seed crackers with aubergine pâté, breaded turkey breast rolls filled with smoked cheeses and served with dried fruit compote and raisin sauce, and a light bizcocho and cream for dessert. All of which were delicious, but I was personally partial to the oatmeal crackers with sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds.

And we all got an apron to take home too!

The classes are to become a regular feature at the Hostería del Prado. Check with Marta Galán for details:

Grupo Hostelero La Raza
Tel. 954 232 024

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