We, the team of Lifestyle DMC, are always making sure that our clients get the best possible and memorable experiences. This is why our aim is to personally test all of the services we provide. Last Friday two of us took the time off to try the Spanish Cooking Class with one of our main partners, located close to the city centre. The company is known for using only local and organic products, as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables. It doesn´t only give the food greater taste but also supports local economy and preserves the nature. And I, a girl from Scandinavia, am just loving this concept.
We were greeted by one of the staff members and lead to the terrace to wait for the other participants over a drink. The terrace was beautifully designed with flowers, bay leaf trees and wine racks. It really set the mood before the cooking activities. In few minutes we were ready to begin and let me tell you that I was never so excited about cutting, boiling and frying!
The chef, Alejandra, introduced the menu of the day which included all the typical Spanish treats – gazpacho, date appetizer, tortilla Espanola, sea food paella and Creama Catalana. Instead of doing the traditional gazpacho which is done with tomatoes, ours was done with strawberries. And the paella was prepared with asparagus and artichoke. This is how the seasonality can be seen in the menu. Alejandra told us that later the soup will be made with cherries and at the end of the summer it will be twisted with water melon. After a quick presentation we were ready to grab the knives and get our hands on.
There were six of us at that day but the gastronomic centre has the capacity for 16 people. Everyone was working close to each other and co-operation played a big role. I have two chefs in my family and I’m well aware of the possible accidents in the kitchen. This is way task division, communication and common understanding are highly welcomed. In addition to us the class was joined by two American couples. We shared our Barcelona experiences and food preferences. It was a pleasure to share this practice in such an open and warm atmosphere.
While cutting all the ingredients and sending them to the dishes prepared for them we enjoyed organic white wine and Alejandra told about her love for cooking. This lovely lady was travelling around the world, going to cooking schools and working in various restaurants for last 25 years. By the way she looks, you would never guess that she has so many years of experience. She says that using pure ingredients and eating well and healthy are the only ways to preserve yourself. That´s how simple it is.
When gazpacho was ready and paella already cooking, we moved to tortilla and date appetizer. Traditional tortilla Espanola is made with eggs, potatoes and onions. Because of lack of time we weren´t able to do the thick tortilla which needs more time to cook. The one we did was still a real treat. The onions were so smooth in taste, almost caramelized, and eggs slightly uncooked, so that the whole dish just melted in your mount. Dates were filled with almonds and covered with bacon, warmed up in the oven for few minutes and great finger food was ready.
We moved onto the table to try the summery gazpacho with traditional Catalan tomato bread. I have to be honest, at the beginning I was a bit suspicious about the whole strawberry/cherry/water melon thing in a soup, but how wrong was I. The texture, the colour and, the most importantly, the taste were excellent. Sweet and salty combination was proved to make a perfect match once again. While the six of us were enjoying the food and sharing our best and worst dining experiences, Alejandra took over the paella and finished it with prawns and asparaguses. White wine was changed for organic red wine and we were ready to try our main dish.
I have tried many paellas while living in Spain, home-made and in the restaurants, but this one had something special. Maybe it is because I actually took a part in preparing this one or maybe it is the whole friendly atmosphere, the pure ingredients and love for food that could be seen through the whole 3-hours class. Whatever it was, it was definitely worth it.
Despite all the great dishes we had already eaten, we still saved some space for the dessert. Creama Catalana is often confused with Creme Brulee but Alejanda explained the difference. French dessert is made with cream, eggs and vanilla. And the Catalan version is made with milk, eggs, cinnamon, lemon and orange zests. We all got the chance to “burn” our sweets what, for me, was the most exciting moment. These Crema Catalana was definitely the best I ever had – smooth and crunchy, sweet and sour. Simply delicious. Traditional dessert wine was the cherry on the top for our memorable cooking experience.
I would definitely recommend this cooking class activity for teambuilding purposes. You get to work closely with your partners, communicate and share the tasks. New things experienced together bring people closer and create the bond that will be useful in the future. During the class I’ve learned that it’s not about if you can, it’s about if you will. And on top of all, it’s just a great way to share a wonderful meal with your colleagues.
To get more information on how you can enjoy this wonderful experience contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org