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

Puerto de Cuba Gourmet Market

puerto de cuba gourmet market
I am so going to this! A three-day Gourmet Market kicks off this Friday at noon at Puerto de Cuba (San Telmo bridge end of calle Bétis) in Triana. There will be oyster and sushi stands, wines, cheeses, cured meats, olive oils, cakes and pastries… with drinks and cocktails available at the Puerto de Cuba bar. Weather forecast is looking good too!

Puerto de Cuba Gourmet Market
4 – 6 April
12 pm – 1 am Friday & Saturday / 11 am – 7 pm Sunday
Free Entrance


Velá de Santa Ana 2012 – Photos

Some images from opening night at the Velá de Santa Ana last Friday. We also went to the photo exhibit in the Castillo de San Jorge – DesVELAndo Triana – which was excellent. Am hoping to get down to see the “cucaña” this week, something I’ve never seen (hard to believe after 19 years!). So stay tuned for some fun photos of that…

Velá de Santa Ana
20 – 28 July 2012

Velá de Santa Ana 2012

Triana’s biggest annual street party – the Velá de Santiago y Santa Ana – starts next week on Friday July 20th with dozens of activities and concerts planned.

Dating from the thirteenth century, the Velá is celebrated every year in late July and Sevillianos flock to the “other side” of the river to enjoy this traditional week-long summer festival.

Plaza Altozano and the surrounding streets are at the center of the fiesta, particularly Betis street, where there are food and craft booths and a small fun fair for children. It’s a great place to stroll, have a beer or a glass of fino with some “pescaito frito” and sample the traditional green hazelnuts.

Also check out the “Desvelando Triana” (Revealing Triana) photography exhibit at the Castillo de San Jorge to learn more about the history of Triana and the Velá, on until August 26th 10 am – 2 pm (until July 26th you can also visit the exhibit 7 pm – 11 pm).

Velá de Santa Ana
20 – 28 July 2012

Day Trip to Triana

As part of my ongoing 20th anniversary in Spain celebrations I took a day trip to… Triana! Yes, I know that Triana is just over the bridge, but many people would argue that it is a very different place to Sevilla, and some (mostly Trianeros), would say that it isn’t actually Sevilla at all. And well, I can’t argue with that. So off I went with Peter (aka Seville Concierge) to spend the day on the other side of the river.

The main focus of this particular day trip was to do a bit of research, which of course involved some tapas and checking out cool places (I know, it’s a tough job, etc, etc). I was very interested in having a look at the future home of the Triana Ceramics Museum as well as visiting the new Ostrerías de Mercado (oyster and champagne bar) in the Triana Market. As a result I also discovered a new micro-brewery that had just opened. There were also some old familiar places that were overdue for a revisit, so it ended up being quite a full day…

Continue reading “Day Trip to Triana”

Castillo de San Jorge

Visitors to Sevilla are usually surprised and even amused to come across “inquisition alley” in Triana for the first time, and will often make the usual Monty Python Spanish Inquisition jokes, but of course the sobering reality is far from anything amusing.

For almost three hundred years (1481 – 1785) the Castillo de San Jorge was the Seat of the Holy Inquisition in Spain where thousands of men and women from all walks of life were imprisoned and tortured. Its sinister image became the iconic symbol for the Inquisition throughout Europe.

In 1990 the city of Sevilla began work on renovating the old Triana Market and unearthed the remains of the castle. Today it stands as a monument to tolerance and calls itself a place for reflection, inviting us to remember the past in order to prevent such totalitarian abuse of power happening again.

The exhibit is distributed over two floors and includes an interactive room containing three spaces (Value Judgements, The Abuse of Power, The Victims), artefacts from the castle, archaeological remains and historical data.

There is also a Gallery of Key Figures that pays homage to some of the most representative figures of the Inquisition.

I finally stopped by for a visit yesterday (it opened this past spring) and found it very well done and even inspirational. The info pamphlet says that “You are the main protagonist of this story. This is your history” and goes on to explain that the essential aim of the exhibit is to transfer the lessons learnt from these historical facts to the motivations and concerns of our present day society. All the written information is displayed in both Spanish and English and admission is free.

[click to enlarge collage]

Castillo de San Jorge

Monday-Friday 10.00-14.00h / 17.00-19.00h
Saturday, Sunday & holidays 10.00-15.00h
Castillo de San Jorge Blog