Feel, look, smell, taste: use your senses, and the rest will come naturally. Whilst, today, there is more cooking information out there than ever—all the programmes, books, magazines and Internet content—it can sometimes feel we’ve lost our culinary way. Too much information, so many trends, so much hype. Perhaps what we need to do is take a step back from all this and rely on ourselves, our feelings, our intuition. That’s what this workshop hopes to kick-start.
And there’s no better place to do so than our village, set in the midst of stunning countryside, whose peace and quiet provides the perfect setting for listening to your senses.
Nature, its seasons and all its colours, will be our first muse. We will be picking vegetables from our own kitchen garden, going in search of edible wild flowers and herbs and making good use of the delicious local produce. Other sources of inspiration? The mood we’re in, the weather, our travels, experiences, memories, a charismatic character, a certain atmosphere, the love we feel… all of them can be used to add a bit of magic in the kitchen.
Also, the process of doing something from scratch to end can be very satisfying!
So, what’ll we be doing?
By putting the focus on textures, colours, forms and temperatures, we’ll learn how to take part in the interactive play of ingredients, contrasting and complementing flavours and aromas. We’ll make the most of all kinds of ingredients, exploring all the different ways they can be prepared.
A basic recipe can be used as a guideline, but with the addition of a little imagination and a few crafty tricks, you’ll learn how you to cook up a wide variety of original dishes.
Also, variety is (as they say) the spice of life. We don’t go for any specific cuisine or follow one particular guru. Rather than following rigid rules, we want to leave space for creativity and experimenting.
The idea is NOT to slave over the stove for hours attempting to master complicated techniques. No, nothing too fussy or fancy but creative, surprising and inspiring combinations, healthy and energetic, colourful and tasty food. Anyone can be a wizard in the kitchen. You just have to let yourself be one. Whether you’re a relatively experienced cook looking for a fresh approach, or someone who thinks they have no idea, we’ll help you find your way in the kitchen.
More specifically, we’ll:
* learn how to make the very most of ingredients and bring more variety to the kitchen: one ingredient can be used and transformed in so many ways: in soups, mousses, dips, fritters, stews, quiches…
*ensure nothing is wasted: based on the above, you’ll be surprised how much more you can use of one ingredient. We’ll also learn to make tasty meals with leftovers and how to conserve seasonal ingredients.
* see how less can be more, learning how, with fewer ingredients, you can be inspired to be more creative. Living on a mountain certainly helped us with this one!
* learn to use local, seasonal ingredients: going foraging for wild plants and herbs, and incorporating them into dishes. Something out of season? We’ll learn how to find substitutes.
* inspire you with examples from local cuisines: dishes from all over the world, inspired by my travels, but also with a good selection of Spanish and Catalan delicacies, given where we are! We’ll also look at how these different cuisines can influence and complement one other.
* promote healthy cooking, ingredients and culinary habits: using less meat (in frequency and quantity) and showing you what you can use in its place, such as seeds, nuts, dried fruits, legumes, and a wider variety of grains. There’ll also be plenty of local and organic produce. If you are completely vegetarian, we can adapt our dishes accordingly.
* To round everything off (atmosphere is everything, darling!): how to create the right mood, original serving suggestions and surprises, the setting, everything counts!
Optionally, there’ll be tours of local wineries, saffron farms, and more.
Arrival is in the evening of 30 May, and we will start with dinner. The course will end with lunch on 4 June.
Classes will be from 10 am to 1 p.m. Your remaining time will be free to explore the area or to rest. For more information on things to do in the area, please check here.
Accommodation, Food & Rates
You will be staying at Casa Vall Vell.
FOOD: Check here for more info
* Lunch will be the result of our culinary efforts every morning!
5 days: 525 euros